Member Peck. Here. Councilmember Martin. Here. Councilmember double bearing here. Councilmember waters.
Mayor Pro Tem.
Thank you very much. I will go ahead and lead us in tonight’s Pledge of Allegiance.
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United
Nation under God, indivisible, indivisible, with liberty, liberty and just all at this time We’ll now move on to motions direct the city manager to add agenda items to future agendas.
Do we have anybody?
Okay, seeing none, no Council. Okay. Seeing none. We’ll move on to public invited to be heard.
It’ll take a couple minute break here to allow people to call in. The screen will be put up with the number I believe being 669-900-6833. And then there will be a prompt to enter the meeting ID which is 87917427855. So we’ll give this a couple minutes and be with you in a moment.
Mayor Pro Tem, we’re just going to give it a few more seconds and make sure that the slide comes down from the livestream. All right, thank you.
All right. Looks like that is gone. And we have two guests when you are ready.
Alrighty, I’m ready. I will just a quick reminder for people to state their name and address and we will be giving three minutes and I will let you know when your three minutes so thank you.
So we have two guests tonight. The first guest your phone number ends in 396. I’m going to unmute you please state your name and address for the record. You may begin. You have three minutes.
Good evening, Mayor coach him.
Hello, can you hear me? Yes, we can. Go ahead. Okay. All right. This is Scott with the Longmont chamber. Good evening, Mayor Pro Tem rush
Because and members of city council.
The chamber support City Council’s submitting to voters this fall and amendment to the Home Rule charter to allow for the lease of city property up to 30 years. Last year the same question was asked to voters but failed. First in our chambers policy meeting, a number of our members had questions last year and again this year. We believe that many of these questions can be answered with better communication about what is being asked to voters and what extending the time from 20 to 30 years does for potential city and public private partnerships. Secondly, times have changed quite dramatically since last fall. None of us knows exactly what the post COVID future looks like. It’s possible that we will enter a time when it’s difficult to attract developers for city and public private partnerships. by extending leases from 20 to 30 years, we can become more attractive. It is our understanding that 30 years is the norm for city leases in our region and around the country. The city of Boulder passed a similar ordinance back in 2012.
The chamber is interested in furthering conversations on this and is happy to help with communication on this important tool for future city projects. Thank you.
Our next guest your phone number ends in 635. I’m going to unmute you please state your name and your address. You have three minutes.
Hi, my name is Shaquille the law I live at 609 Terry Street, calling in to voice my support for long on public media of which I’m a member. I don’t personally view myself as creative in the way that people who are into making podcasts and videos are. But I am interested in lots of community focus things like local politics and community organizations. What I love about Longmont public media is that it takes the mission of public access seriously, despite the fact that I don’t have any real skills on how to make content because lpm is a makerspace I can easily find people to work with there who do have
skills that are maybe interested in the same things as me why in the early days of the pandemic, I was able to quickly put together a series of interviews highlighting a few community based organizations like the TLC Learning Center, long about meals and Meals on Wheels and the YMCA, which were providing critical support to the community. Those videos were shared using long run public media social media channels, where they were collectively viewed over 2500 times, some sort of rejected ever achieve on my own Facebook page. Public Access media serves a really critical function. We live in a time of corporate media consolidation, where it can be easier to find 20 podcasts about nightlife in Miami than it can be to watch a video of a concert performance here in Longmont. In a community as big as this one, an inability to share information and perspectives about ourselves to ourselves, can really hold us back by making people feel like they’re disengaged from the place where they live. The need for us to share with our broader community is exactly why platforms like Facebook and next door so popular, but the fact that those tech platforms by making
money by algorithmically creating animus is bad for a community. One thing that can really drive a community apart is the sense of it’s not a community that each person is an island in a sea of others. Online public media is the organization I know that is most aggressively working on stitching us together by providing an outlet for us to speak to each other. Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you very much.
There were only two callers right, Susan. That is correct. All right. That will conclude public invited to be heard for tonight’s meeting. Please join us next week if you’d like to have some comments in front of the city council. Next up, we have special reports and presentations. So I think I’ll throw this over to Harold I think
because we’re going to have another weekly report on where we are regarding COVID-19. I have brought the charts that I’ve normally used with you all so you can see
See, consistency and movement are those charts up for you all to see.
Okay, good. So again, this is the same chart that I showed that I’ve been showing you over the last few weeks, when you look at the three day average of COVID-19 cases, this is the three day moving average. And you can see the movement. I’m going to then show you the actual I wish I could figure out how to get this where it would get more quickly. This is what’s happening on a daily basis. In terms of the number of cases again, this is by state.
That really, we’re moving through cumulative numbers. And at this point, we’re really watching what’s happening on a day by day basis. This is again, the movement that we’ve seen in the number of deaths related to COVID-19.
Again, an important slide I’m going to show you this in Boulder County when again, you look at where the number of cases are in terms of the state. And you can see that it’s a 20 to 29 year old group.
over 8000 cases. And then you’re starting to see that they’ve had 11 deaths 368 hospitalized in terms of this age demographic. And then if you remember what this look like the other day, there’s been, it looks like some growth in this category as well, on a 10 to 19. This is the PCR percentage on a weekly basis. And you can see that when I look at it from on a weekly basis, it’s somewhere around 4%. I also look at this in terms of a daily basis. Again, it’ll take a little bit of time to move through here and you actually see what’s happening day to day. So you can see the percentage of test is moving. And so we hit another recent peak of 5.84% there, but on July 20, it was 3.83% positive test and so that’s something that we like to see
In terms of that movement, so while you see the growth in cases, you can see the movement in terms of the percentages, and then it’s starting to shift. And we hope that it’s something new. based on the current data. When we look at the Boulder County numbers,
again, graphs that you’re used to seeing.
And when we talk about numbers, I think it’s also important to really, we’re trying to get focused people to focus on is the y axis. So it’s much different in Boulder County than when we look at the entire state. But again, you’re seeing the general trends and the curves that are very similar when we see the state’s numbers. And you can see this peak and then you can see as a county where we’re, again, hopefully starting to make a similar move that we saw here that we saw here again, we hope that that can continue as we’re moving forward.
This is the five day rolling average on the percentage of COVID-19 PCR tests with positivity
results. So you can see that you know we’ve theoretic, we’ve stay below that 4%, as Boulder County, saw that peak where we get close, and then we move and then you see a rise.
It’s still in that area. You know, part of that then is also related to the number of tests that are being performed. And you can see where we’re, we’re really hitting in excess of 600 tests when needed and when folks are coming in.
Then when you move to the demographics, you know, this is something that looks a little bit different when you compare it to the state numbers. When you looked at the state numbers, it was sort of this general trend that move like this. In case of Boulder County, you see a high peak in the age groups at 20 to 29. drops and 30 to 39 goes up and then you can see the Move back. And so we look different in Boulder County in terms of where those cases are coming from and you’re really seeing the growth in this area.
Based on what that charts look like,
this is the five day average on the number of new COVID-19 cases. Again, this is a good sign, you can see the peak moved down the peak, we move down, we have a peak, and we’re moving down. So again, those are things that you’re wanting to look at, over a longer period of time. So when you when you look at some of the parameters in terms of protector neighbor, I believe it’s 14 days of declining cases before you can consider that. So we’re still on that, that count in terms of what that will look like. And I’ll touch on that a little bit later in terms of what that means for us and what we’re looking at a tiny
This is the local book.
You may have remembered, I believe we were around 586. So we’ve crossed the 600 barrier in Longmont at 604
Now it’s 646. I think when you look at the ages in that previous graph, and then you see were boulders increasing, you know, was that thinking number 30? Or is a 30? different, you know, see that move a little bit. Again, I think that’s directly tied to the ages. And then as you look at this chart, if you remember last week, it was at 37%. In terms of the Hispanic Latin x population that had Cova cases, it’s 36.8. So again, I think when you tie that to age, you’re starting to see some movements continue. And so we’re watching the numbers. So
and then when you want to look at what’s happening in the system today, for the most part, everything is in green.
Available med surge beds again, they’re still 120. They’re still doing elective procedures. So that’s coming into play. I actually have the ability to see more granular information
That’s proprietary because it’s by specific group unit. And then you can see the ICU beds where they’re, you know, they’re in the yellow. But as a system, you can see that we’re still 10 tending to move in the green. When you look at the state numbers, it’s very similar to that. So it’s much different here in Colorado than it is in some of the other communities where they’ve had increased cases.
Remember, last time, I showed you all this graph?
And so I also want to show it in terms of connecting, you know, what does it look like in Boulder County versus what does it look like in other places? Just to tell you, I chose other places that I’ve worked in the past just because I work there. It was easy for me to see. There’s no particular reason
as I was looking at this data, so this is a little bit more in depth in terms of what we’re seeing Boulder County. Again, skills important, you know, population of 300,000
1600 and 50 cases 74 deaths. And you can see the number of cases in the last 14 days in terms of that movement.
I started my career in love with Texas and went to school there. So I decided to pick that as another place. Again, about a 300,000 population 4482 cases 65 deaths. And again, you can see the movement here in a county that has a similar population. I didn’t pick the last place that I work, which is in Tom Green County, smaller population 120,000 1500 and 60 confirmed cases with 13 deaths and then you can see the movement. So when you’re seeing this in terms of the conversations that are happening in different locations, this is a website where you can go and you can get that information. You can even look at the counties in Colorado and see how that differs.
Sure I can in the right spot.
So that’s Douglas County.
And then you can get a comparison in terms of good comes up
what’s happening in Douglas County. And so this is a good data set to come in just if you want to start doing some compare and contrast and see what the movement is across the United States. And so these are things generally we watch, but I wanted to go over the the data with you all.
So you can again see the movement week to week in terms of what we’re looking at what we’re trying to
watch on a regular basis.
Is there any questions about the numbers
that’s my repec.
It’s somewhat a general question in that. I know that we get our data from john hopkins. And I’m, I’m glad you do. But I heard that
that counties and other medical
entities were not sending their data to john hopkins anymore. Is that correct? Have you heard that? Um, I haven’t heard that. So that’s why when I look, I actually have another website that really focuses on Colorado that I look at. And so if I see any differences, I’ll let you know. I do this because of the national comparison. And I think there are some that may be doing that. But again, the base data that I look at actually is on the cdphp website, older County Health website, and then another one that I have to log into
I really liked seeing that work from john hopkins. It’s very, very helpful. Like, I hope that we keep getting updates on it. So thank you. We’ll update you on it. And if we see an issue in the day, then we’ll let you know.
So some things that I wanted to talk about today, a narrow account. Councilmember waters has a question. Okay. Sorry.
My question isn’t about numbers. It is about what we’re doing as a city. Should I wait is are you going to talk about what we’re expecting? Go ahead, you can go ahead and ask I mean, so some of what my some of what’s prompting my questions is, as we have heard so much about in our
continue to wonder, you know, where to where school districts will come down or universities will come down with their approaches to, to going back to school or not.
It occurred to me I hadn’t if there are questions I haven’t been asked about us that I’d like to know and I probably
We’ll be useful for maybe some others to know as well. I have no idea who gets tested among the city employees who gets tested? Does anybody get tested? And under and what would provoke a city employee to be tested?
I may have Sandy jump in to help me a little bit with this. These are not gotcha questions. No, no, no, get your mind wrapped around what the city’s approaches to the very same challenges that school districts are going to face at least in terms of their adults. Right. So when her here to help me in case I miss something, so So generally what we look at is, you know, so the first case, and these are real examples. So someone comes in and says, My roommate is showing signs of COVID.
They’re going into get tested, we then connect them with Kaiser who is our health insurance provider. They then talk to them and go through the process to get tested based on what the condition what would it look like or my roommate, my special
passes tested positive.
Or I was at an event where someone tested positive and they go more in depth into Is it a probable exposure? And a probable exposure is designed in terms of
Are you inside? Are you outside, if you’re inside within, you know, in excess of 15 minutes with someone and you weren’t within social distance and you weren’t wearing masks, that becomes a probable
scenario. A possible scenario is then a derivative of you were in if you were inside a room or an office with someone, but you weren’t there within 15 minutes, but people weren’t merit wearing mask. And so then we go through that process. You get tears, tears, yeah, that we look at and then we’re in communication with Kaiser on that. So in this case, employees don’t have to pay for the cost of the test, because the insurance part of our insurance program
under what conditions will
An employee, an employee of ours is tested positive. And you mentioned that the bulk of those would be our first responders. We have had first responders. What happens to their colleagues? Are they tested? Are they quarantine?
What do we do with for or with city employees when a colleague has been tested positive? So the first thing that we do, I mean, we even do this with our recreation staff if there’s a person on the team or something, but So generally,
public safety is a little bit different because we know when we’re going into calls that there is you know, what, what is the chance that there is a possible contamination on this case? And
so then, if it were someone on staff, we would then go through the same questions that we just went through, is it probable Is it possible, we would work with Kaiser we would work with Boulder County Health depending on what the situation is.
We would get the individual tested. Now when someone exhibit symptoms and depending on possible probable, we then take certain actions within a facility within a facility. And that was actually the first thing I was going to talk about. So today
we had a situation where that occurred with someone whose significant other was there and they worked on the west side of the Civic Center. So we actually made the decision to close that side we sent everyone home and based on our protocols will come in will disinfect that area. Sandy, if I miss something, he’ll stop. We will disinfect that area will then follow on the testing protocols was it positive, we will then watch the others that are connected to them. And then depending on the advice we get from the healthcare providers, and Boulder County Health will then make the determination of when we open. Also a little bit different in when you have something that occurs in one of her daycare facilities.
There’s actually different protocols that we have to follow in terms of the amount of time that we have to have it close. I believe it’s 72 hours, Andy, or somewhere in that, that timeframe. So we have different protocols that we follow there.
So it’s a lot of work and it changes based on what are the conditions and what are what is someone particularly, you know, potentially exposed to. But what we tell everyone, and it’s pretty basic, if you’re sick, stay home. If you’re sick, call your supervisor call human resources. If you’ve been into work, let us know because then risk management and HR will work with the appropriate departments so that we can take the actions we need to based on the advice that we get from our healthcare provider and from Boulder County public. Did I miss anything Sandy? Nothing I would add Harold is that we follow the CDC guidance when it’s time to clean an area. So for example, today we have a set of cleaning protocols that are part of our administrative regs and our folks follow that procedure to make sure that everything
Is is cleaned and ready to go. reopen. We have Are there any circumstances under which a city employee would be quarantined? For 14 days? Yes. And when that happens
I’ll apologize to council members like just I’ll try to get through this quickly when that happens
they’re home for 14 days is that doesn’t come off sick leave. I assume.
Sandy helped me on this one. I don’t know if you froze. We have to quarantine they’re usually quarantine for a couple different reasons. So for example, if, if their roommate has been tested and is positive for COVID and now they’re waiting for their test to come back. That’s a situation where we record renting them at home and we have another temporary added rag around pandemic pay. And pandemic pay would pay for those kinds of situations where we sent you home either due to a building closure or quarantine or you have been diagnosed with with COVID or are taking care
Have a family member diagnosed with covid. And that’s that’s actually, the response that I was going to say is that’s outlined by federal and state law. And so we have to follow federal and state law in terms of what’s covered and why they’re covered. So my last question is, somebody’s been tested positive, they’ve been home, they’ve gone through whatever kind of treatment they’re going to go through.
Do we test them before they come back to work to make certain they’re not infectious or
there’s no, there’s no risk of spread or
when you have the health care provider determine where they need to do for that individual. And based on the circumstance, and you may have seen it, the guidance is starting to change a little bit on that.
And one thing that I would add is that our temporary admin rank basically says that after symptoms subside completely, we’re asking a place if they have covid symptoms to wait 72 hours before returning to work. If they’re sick or something else, then we’re asking them to wait 24
if we don’t do any testing, or we don’t require the health care provider to demonstrate or document that there’s been some additional testing.
All right, thanks.
And every one of these, every one of these cases, it’s different. I see more hands going up.
Okay. Remember you don’t have a fairing?
Actually, I had a question on that. So the 14 days and that was one of the demands that we as an education association put back on the state and our district leaders in looking at reopening, you know, the 14 days of declining
positive cases. And there were some states who were pushing 14 days, no new cases.
Where are we at in Boulder, I was trying to look at that slide and count them but you changed it
let me pull that up. Sorry.
this is a question that I’m probably going to share my screen.
This is a question that
I’m going to need to verify with Jeff. I don’t know if this is where they start the count, which was on June. I don’t know I don’t think I actually don’t think it is. I think this is where they started to count based on what happened in Boulder and what we’ve heard so
six, so six days from this point, which was on June 14 15. ish. And then if we hit another elevation, so let’s you know, looking at the last date
if the next
Roll that comes in and it’s higher, not to the highest peak, but to the, to the latest data point. If it’s higher, we start all over again. That’s where I need to talk to Jeff, because I don’t know it is. So, you know, we went down and then when we went back up, are they considering this movement upward? Are they considering this still the peak? So let me follow up with Jeff and get that information to make sure.
I know we’ve talked about it and and I just can’t remember that off the top of my head. But but there’s other issues on that too. So the other components that come into that, and that’s really when you look at moving to protect our neighbor that comes into play as it’s not only the cases, but it’s testing and it’s the ability to do tracing.
So there are other factors that come into play in terms of making the move to protect our neighbors. Okay. And then the other question I had was, has there been anybody
discussion with Jeff or other the epidemiologist or other
other experts in the field around scenarios, what?
You know, as schools either open full capacity, what do they anticipate where the project projections to the community at large, or versus a hybrid? Or, you know, just sticking with online? You know, looking at those different scenarios, has there been discussion on any predictions? So I haven’t been in conversations with the school districts, I think that’s been between the school districts and Boulder County Public Health.
I can tell you that, you know, we’re obviously you’ve heard and we’re gonna have a presentation on the work that we’re doing with biobank, we’re actually that’s shifting to a partnership with the universities. And so what we’re trying to do is look at, get the daily numbers for a long line or and relate that to
The biobank results, which is really, we take samples at our wastewater treatment plant and it grabs the RNA.
They try to say it means X amount of cases, but the science is really
I don’t go there in terms of the science, but what we’ve looked at is a number of copies. And that sort of tells you the volume that’s in your wastewater system. And so if we can track that over time, and what that kind of becomes as a leading indicator,
then the thing that we do know
you can see the peaks from when people engaged in activities. So this peak in this area is right after the Fourth of July.
You know, you saw the peak that occurred associated with the parties and you can see what’s happened in Boulder. So, you know, those are the things that we’re watching there are watching. There’s also some really interesting science coming out. studies that you’re starting to see. I think it was with the P l. o s.
If you get a chance look at it. There’s also articles on various news platforms about this study. And they say there’s three things, wash your hands vigorously and on a regular basis, where your mass and social distance, and those components come into play. What I can tell you is, there’s we I talked to my other colleagues in Boulder County,
on a weekly basis, and so we’re going to probably we’re going to have those conversations. And then there’s there’s the likelihood we may Institute the larger conversations based on where the date is going. It’s a little bit more.
We’re planning for all of those scenarios and locally, or at least that’s what we’re thinking about. I mean, because we are not in silos, whatever the district does, it impacts the community at large. It impacts our our elderly residents, people who don’t have children in school, they’re still impacted.
So it’s really important that we have that connected and, you know, understanding. Okay, what are you doing? This is what we’re doing and have that clear transparency, that, you know, that was another one of our demands is having that data disease data, if there is an outbreak in the classroom, or inability that the community knows, parents know, other staff members know, and it’s, and it’s out there, so that and are we in a position to to be doing that right now, if we are not, then we should not be opening up right now.
For us, it’s even larger than just the local school districts. So to give you a sense of what we’re having to take into account when you look at federal state laws, who you take care of and those types of issues. We know that
our team, we have members in Thompson Valley, pooter Valley, St. vrain Valley, Boulder Valley,
Probably the Aurora school district well, county school districts. And so the other thing we’re having to do is actually also look at what those other districts are doing. Because that then fundamentally impacts how we’re going to approach staffing, and how we’re going to handle our daily operations because we have to be cognizant of the impact on on families in daycare, and you heard me talking about daycare before.
So that’s a piece that we’re looking at to try to figure out what’s happening in all the other school districts because we know it’ll impact it’s
kind of wanted to touch on a couple of points. So many of the questions that you all talked about came up, we closed the west side of the Civic Center today, based on the very issue that you talked about in terms of testing. So the finance side in that area, we had to make the decision to close it and go through
protocol’s not the first time we’ve had to do it won’t be the last time we’ve had to do it.
But we just went through and followed our processes in terms of how we needed to approach it. And I was actually gonna bring it up to answer many of the questions you asked. So thanks for doing that. See other questions. Mayor. Council Member questions, Christiansen.
Harold, I had the same questions. I mean about the
I think we can’t underestimate the school, the schools and also Front Range Community College which is the age group where most of the people who are carrying this
are going but
as I think the city has done a terrific job at taking care of city employees but we really need to be working with the school system and put boulder public health to see a to have a plan for
When the schools open up,
if this so far, we’ve been very lucky in that smaller kids, by enlarge, are having a very low rate of this, but we don’t want that to change because that would be a disaster. And so I’m just worried that we are not going to be prepared for
schools to open up and a whole lot of people to get sick and then carry it home to their,
their families. And Yikes, that could just be you know, I don’t know I i was i was hoping to talk to Susie earlier today about this, but I don’t know she knows what the plan is. But we really need to have a plan. And saying brain school system really needs to have a plan for what’s going to happen in terms of public health if things don’t work too well when schools do reopen on any level. So I
That’s my greatest concern is that we don’t have sick kids and sick families. And that’ll just undermine everything we’ve worked so hard to try to get stabilized.
So what I can tell you and what I know is the way the governor’s order was issued, and I think you jeans on.
By the way, Eugene and his legal staff have been great in terms of distilling these orders, because I will tell you, it becomes maddening at times, but the way I understand that the order was issued in terms of school districts, it actually bested the decision within the superintendent.
And what I can tell you is part of the reason you know, we normally have Jeff here, Jeff has been knee deep into conversations with both school districts.
And, and so, I told him, you know, I’m gonna carry this until Jeff gets through this.
I know he’s in conversations. I know he’s working on those issues.
You know, from my experience with Jeff, he’s going to say what he thinks in this. We’ve all seen it when he’s issued masking orders, and he’s done these other things. So I know he’s actively involved in this conversations now. And all I can tell you is, I’m not in those conversations.
But I can tell you the world’s changing because I just heard that Denver made the decision to go online and delay their start date. I think Jefferson County has indicated they’re evaluating that. So I think there’s a lot of flux right now, not only in Colorado, but nationally in terms of how schools are looking at it. But as soon as I hear something
that I can verify, I will let you all know, we’re obviously going to be very interested in the same conversation that occurs tomorrow, that you all are in and but as I stated earlier,
We’re not just going to watch it for St. Rank Valley, we’re going to watch it for boulder Valley and all the other school districts where we have staff members with kids because
it may be a an interesting
first month or so, in terms of how we figure out our operational plan if we have different plans in different areas.
I’m speaking of that, and sort of, if I can, if there’s not any other questions on this, the one thing I did want to talk to the council about is, so when we look at safer at home, and we look at protect our neighbor, you know, the governor has delayed
the consideration of any request to move into the protector neighbor phase, which for a couple of weeks, which we now that’s now going to put us into the month of August. We know the case growth numbers we have to look at and all the parameters
and so we know the month of August
Probably highly unlikely, based all over saying that we’ll move in to protect our, our neighbor, which means we’re still in safer at home.
And even when you move into that world of protecting our neighbor, this is really a conversation about how we approach council meetings in August. So I wanted to touch base with you on this, we have run different scenarios as we looked at it. If you get a chance, they’re finishing up with the room. The challenge is social distancing. You know, if you can’t do that, or if it’s close, then you’re wearing face masks and, and how you hear and those types of issues. You then have to run a space calculator on the room to see how many people can fit in it. And then you have the broader issue of people that are in the high risk population based on the case loads. And and so at this point, at least as I’ve talked about it with my staff, we really think we probably would be best in August.
To stay in this zoom environment based on everything that we’re seeing, and what we’re doing so that would be
my recommendation. I just wanted to get Council’s feedback on that or answer any questions I could on it. And that’s just a pure look at the world the data where we are in the process.
I am so eager to get back in council chambers. But, you know, I
I don’t see how we can use the council the way it is the setup that it is, we would have to do a huge amount of work again, to try to set it up to be enough social distance, enough distance, physical distance between us. I can’t imagine how to do that. And then we would have room for only maybe half the people and
But it would normally fit.
You know, so rather than go back to that and have some interim that is just also extremely frustrating. You know, I agree with you that it’s probably a safer thing for everybody. Plus we have people on Council. I mean, I’m 70 years. We have people who are at
human, more vulnerable people who have immune problems and things like that. So
you know, I understand and I think the town will understand too, I am sorry about it, but I don’t think we should. We’ve already done the kind of thing at the library which was an enormous stress and a lot of trouble for staff to set up and tear down every single week. I don’t want staff have been having to
Do that all over again with the
with the chambers and measuring out things and trying to monitor people so they don’t, you know, get too close to each other. I think, you know, we should probably just keep doing zoom for a while until we can actually
reasonably get back to chambers.
But that really irritates me. But you know, that’s life.
And part of the reason why I wanted to bring this up, some some councils are meeting, I
don’t think anyone in Boulder County’s meeting.
And so, you know, it’s a difficult question.
I talked to folks about a hybrid model of zoom and people coming in. Technically, that’s a nightmare is what I’ve heard from even our staff.
So that’s why I wanted to bring this conversation point up to you all
Councilmember Peck. Thank you, Mayor Pro Tem. I agree that we should stay virtual. And I have to hand it to Susan, and your staff that I think we’ve got a pretty good handle on how to work this now. And I think it would be the wrong message if we’re at a safe at home, stay at home through the governor, but we don’t do that. So I’m all for doing the virtual until the governor lifts that protocol.
Councilmember waters, oh, to say ditto. And I do I do think the message, the point that Councilmember
pepper is making,
that we ought not to say one thing and do another we have to set an example. And I think until, until we’re willing to encourage others to reconvene in face to face in real time. That that this format
works as well, or works well enough for us to do the people’s business, and is one that protects health and safety, not just of us, but others who would show up in the council chamber. So I think that’s the right.
Harold, do you need a motion? Or? No, I was just, that was my recommendation. I just wanted to know this can be a difficult conversation and wanted to get your feedback. And we can just continue in this, I think what I’m going to do is look at it on a month to month basis, if we move into protect our neighbor, then that may be a trigger point where we bring it back to you based on moving into that phase.
But again, there’s other considerations that we’re always having to, we all have to look at that as an individual in our own situation as well. So those are all things we have to manage.
Yeah, I just say real quick that until we can resume in person meetings with absolute confidence that we can do it safely.
I think it’s just prudent to continue to meet virtually, per se, believe I saw council member a bunch of hands went up Councilmember toggle fairing.
Um, you know, I’m just going to agree with what everyone else has said, I think as long as we are under safer at home, we really need to be continuing with the virtual and we can re you know, have the conversation again, once we move to protect our neighbor face.
Okay, and that’s sort of a transition into the new order. So the the state order in terms of masking
so we have two orders in play for us one, you have the state order for masking indoors.
Eugene and his folks are working with the county to try to get some answers because there’s there’s a change in there for us.
So we were under the county order that said you needed to wear a mask if if you couldn’t adequately social distance six feet
This says we need to wear it unless you’re in your office. So we’re trying to get some nuances and what that means because the example I will use when Sandy and I, we do my WebEx with the organization, we do those weekly, where we open it up for any organization to talk to me.
We’re six feet apart.
And we were in that environment, that order may have changed that. So now when we were watching that, at least for the last few days, we’ve been all wearing our mask, which has almost pushed us back into the team’s environment because it’s easier to communicate, if you have my hearing.
So they’re trying to distill that piece of the order and they’re working with the county and it’s really the county doing the work but, and asking questions at the state but we’re trying to get more clarity in terms of what that means to us and how we do it, but there is a question of, so how’s this going?
To work, and just so you all know what we’ve been informed, again, subject to change is that if individuals have concerns about businesses or facilities, those calls will continue to go into Boulder County Health through the process that we’ve utilized on the business side, they then will engage with jurisdictions if they need our support, to deal with those issues. But the difference is, it really is up to me, or our building managers to ensure that we’re complying with the order in our facilities, just like it is in other locations. And if there’s a problem that goes into Boulder County, hell, and then we and then we move forward on this. All that being said, we’re still really trying to manage those that are working remotely because we are trying to do what the governors asked us to do in terms of maintaining the 50% it’s becoming harder, as we open different components up but we’re still really engaged.
In that remote work, and to the best of our ability, and so we are just adjusting things slightly as an organization as we move into these other phases.
So, still trying to understand as we get more information as Eugene can brief us on this, we will then hopefully be able to provide you with more and I know the county is trying to do that as well.
Councilmember Martin header.
And yeah, I wanted to ask, when we do move back into chambers are the distances between the different seats on the council Dyess and also the, the seats, are they the same or as they were before or have they been moved farther apart?
Sandy, you know that you know the details of that when I was your project. Number Martin, Sandy cedar assistant city manager
It’s about the same. There’s there’s not there is a little tiny physical barrier between council members before and that’s not there. It’s one big kind of long day’s table. And I measured out today I just was there today. And it looks like it’s about two feet two and a half feet on each side for council members. So it’s definitely not a it’s not a six foot. It’s not a six foot gap at this point.
And when you look at the the seating area,
so we’ve got permission to open the museum, but we had to run through the calculator in terms of how many people you can have. I think I’ve said this to you all, when we ran the calculator on the Stewart auditorium, seats 250 people, I believe the number that we actually came out with in that calculator was 50. Based on that configuration. We’ve talked about having to go through them the same seating calculator in terms of the area where the public can sit
Then it also includes where staff can set. And then you have to look at that calculator in terms of the Civic Center and what that looks like in case you had more than that come in play. So
the answer is a lot of details you have to go through in order to pull the trigger on some of these items.
Thank you, Mayor Pro Tem, Harrell, this is a little bit off the topic, but it does go back to the school protocol a little bit.
I had an email and I’m sure that it went to everybody on Council, but it’s basically a woman who has a therapeutic dance studio for physically and mentally disabled people she’s concerned about, I consider this because they have to enroll. As in there are probably other scenarios that are kind of the same. And if you don’t know the answer,
I’m wondering if you would ask Jeff Zack, how do we answer our constituents on this issue? Are we going to wait?
For them, it’s a health issue as well, because they not only because of the virus, but because of their disabilities, so that they need to continue this therapy. So when you have an answer from Jeff or school district, would you relay that so that any other enrollment type classes that are outside of a school district supervision, how do we answer that? Um, so I think I got that email too. And I replied, I don’t know. But I want to facilitate a conversation with the health department. That’s really an area where even we’ve had to do that with our own programs and get into some details and so I want to facilitate that conversation. Great and I would love to for you to come back and let us know
How we should help. Thank you.
That’s remember you don’t go fairing?
Harold, when you are getting Are you you know as you guys are trying to figure out the city to 50% the spacing,
governors, Governor’s orders and county and state recommendations. Are you finding conflicting messages and guidelines? Yep. Okay. Yeah. Because in the school, you know, we’re hearing what we hear is okay, you need to be six feet social distance. And even as we were talking about our own areas in Camden council chambers, two to three feet. So we’re told that in the reopening of schools, we can have three to three feet spacing with desks.
But so that goes against what the CDC recommendations was with the six feet and what business
are being told. So?
Yeah, yeah, I just I don’t I don’t feel we’re in a good space to really look at reopening schools right now. And until these conflicts and in consistencies are, are addressed, and we get a clear message instead of guidelines. You know, I may ask you, Jean to answer some, Eugene’s as part of some of the other conversations that I’m not part of eyemask Eugene to jump in and speak to some of those issues. But are there conflicts there? There are I mean, we saw early on when they opened bookstores, but they said you couldn’t open libraries. And we’re trying to understand how can you open a bookstore but not a library? I mean, we were constantly moving through those.
Those situations. Eugene, do you have any added information
using a city attorney?
I do. I mean, we’re getting used to this after four years.
months. So, you know, I know schools is a very important issues. They issue the guidance yesterday, the pattern with the state is they issue this guidance in these public health orders, then they get feedback. And then that, you know, we’re up to the eighth amended safer at home. And so, you know, the cadence seems to be on these major orders that they tweak them through amendments every one to two weeks. And so, you know, I think that there’s going to be a change in the mass in order for instance, because there’s a lot of industry specific guidance about masking and in close proximity. You don’t have to wear a mask, yet this new public indoor spaces, definition seems to indicate that you need to wear mask all the time indoors. So
I think it’s an iterative process, and it’s a hard call. I mean, it’s a hard call for the state. I don’t want to be in their shoes.
And I think people are just starting to digest it now.
You know, Boulder County Public Health has been awesome to work with. And I asked them for questions about the massing order yesterday and they’re like, yep, those are our questions, too. You know, I think we’re in the clarification phase on the masking order, and that came out last Thursday. So I think there is a clarification phase for the school guidance, too. And people are just getting to it and looking at how to operationalize. I think the school order, very much like protect our neighbors is pushing decision making down to the local level, because counties are moving in different directions now.
And the governor wants to give that flexibility to counties and school districts where you know, if your numbers are good you can do your reopening plan can look like this. If your numbers county why the bad
And you have to have a different sort of protocol
in place and so, you know, it’s very fast moving, you know school openings a month away. They got this guidance out yesterday and people are figuring it out and getting feedback to the state and you know, I will give them credit and I’ll give Boulder County Public Health more credit to because they hear our concerns. They have daily calls with CDP AG, if you have specific questions feed into us. We are working very closely with a Boulder County Attorney’s Office.
You know, some of these bigger policy questions
are above the attorneys paygrade. You know, they’re just say I type cdphp conversation. I mean, I did hear from Boulder County, County Public Health at the school conversations were held very closely to the to the vest.
Yeah. And now it has become public. And now they’re getting the feedback. So
You know that that’s my experience after four months with these public health orders, and it’s shifting sands. And, you know, we can’t sit here today. And you know, I’m pretty sure it will change. But that’s the only thing that we’re sure is that these things just keep on moving and getting better because of feedback.
And the state and the county had made clear and protect our neighbors, they want more local input, because it’s going to be locally driven. I think the same sort of strategy or philosophy would hold true with school guidance, too. Yeah. Yeah.
Now, what I would say too, is Jeff looks at the data. And there’s new data coming out right now. And, and as a parent, and as someone who is in this world, I’m also looking at well what happened in Israel with the data there? You know, what’s that saying? And
Even today, when I had a little bit of a break, there’s other data sets coming out. So I think that’s the other challenge. But what I can tell you that I think if Jeff didn’t agree with something I know he’s told me when we’ve we’ve asked for different options. And they said, No, we don’t really think I mean, he doesn’t, doesn’t avoid that conversation. He’s great to work with and we work through these issues, but
they’ve given good advice and, and been very clear with us too, in terms of what we’re doing. So that’s, that’s good that he calls it like it is. And he’s more interested in giving out the fax recommendations over what he thinks we want to hear. And that’s, I mean, that that’s going to be key. But again, you know, like you said, We have several employees who have children in other districts. So while I appreciate that local control
What one district does or what one county does impacts the neighboring areas? So, you know, I just I, I guess I’m having a hard time with, you know, I haven’t helping sift through 800 plus teacher surveys of what the concerns are, we’ve had teachers already put in for early retirement, people are afraid. And you know, and we need clarity, we need transparency and and we need, we need
public input as well. So thanks. Yeah, just to give you a sense on the data, a story came out 44 minutes ago, about cases and infants in one county in Texas, and that’s how fast this is changing and they’re trying to keep up with it.
They’ve got a tough job. They really do. But they’ve been great partners.
Other than that, there are quarters shortage. We’ve been searching for quarters or housing, a
washing machines and so it’s just it’s just interesting how you run into these things of you know, you’re working these issues on testing and then the next thing you know, we need to get quarters for the Housing Authority laundry areas and you know, you’re just all over the place. So I thought that would be a funny one to just kind of show talk to you all about are we chase everything from quarters to how do we go through tests?
That’s all I have. All right. Thank you, Harold. We’re going to move on to a study session items that start with six a update on Longmont public media structure and governance.
Mayor Pro Tem Sandy cedar again assistant city manager, I would like to introduce Scott Converse from Longmont public media, I think general executive manager he can he could remind me of his title.
But essentially this was a report that was supposed to come to you
In March, during the first meeting, where we decided that all special presentations and everything were going to be scrapped, because we could only have 10 people in the room at the library Now remember, I was running in and out of the doors trying to not be the 10th person so
so after much ado, I would like to introduce Congress from Longmont public media. God, go ahead. Hi, Guys, can you hear me okay.
All right. I’m General Manager, Longmont public media. And what we’re going to do tonight is a six month update on where we’re at with Vermont public media and where we’re headed. So could I get the first slide?
So as I said, a six month update.
So we’re going to just dive right in. As most of you know, we took over all the old broadcast equipment. On January 1, we didn’t have any training or any handoff whatsoever, it literally was dropped in our lap and they said go and we went and everything works. We got it all the work. We’ve done.
Get it out. And we’ve been up since day one of January 1, we have maintained and broadcast on channel 80. From January 1 to frankly today not just January July 1, but to today with very, very few downtime. So basically planned downtime that had to do with updates having to do with adding new features to the software. And of course, since these servers run on Windows, you have to reboot them periodically. And we timed those to happen late at night early in the morning, so there’s no interruption in programming. We do broadcast live city council meetings, planning and zoning meetings as well as school board meetings. Next slide.
We also as you may recall plan provided an unplanned for an unfunded remote city council Broadcasting System for the library,
which we did not know about until after we’d signed the contract and
had to figure out a way to make that happen, which we did.
We have begun the process of recording and transcribing and broadcasting all 17 of the boards and commissions. And we had started going to the meetings and we had started doing the recordings and COVID hit. So right now what’s going on is those meetings have largely been cancelled. Some of them has started up again, Susan can tell you which ones are actually happening, and they’re all happening with zoom. And what we’re doing with those is Susan will record them, she uploads them to the lpm website. We then process them using our voice to text software to get the transcripts and we upload them to our website and we schedule them for playback on channel 80. We also
transcribe all of the city council meetings voice to text and that is also posted in publicly available on the lpm website. So if you go to like this meeting on Friday, the video will be up on our website and the full text of everything that you guys said.
will have been transcribed into into a text file that you can search and read through. Next slide, please.
So these are some pictures of some of the stuff we do there. That’s john Ellsworth in the top left corner there in front of a green screen. He does a weekly weather show, just like you see with
the the maps and you know, the weather lady, you know, showing the map and waving her arm around. That’s precisely what john does as well. JOHN is a NASA rocket scientist during the day and has a full Observatory in his backyard for fun, and knows more about whether anybody ever met he’s one of the biggest weather nerds on the planet, I think, and he does just amazing stuff. And he does it for fun. He’s one of our members, and he’s been doing this for quite a while he also wrote a weather article for the Longmont observer and he also is doing the same thing for the long line leader now. The next picture is
Most of our staff and one of our interns actually getting set up for one of your meetings right now. That’s the control room over at OPM. The middle left. That’s Craig Stevens with Mike Butler. And I think that’s Glenda Jackson. I’ll talk a little bit more about this in a little bit. But that’s a community conversations program. We’re starting up. You can see Mike foot with Marcia, they’re doing an interview. He was not very comfortable. By the end of that interview. It was a kind of an interesting, tough interview. We did you can see Tim waters doing a backstory show down in the bottom left corner, the podcasting studios in the bottom left, I’m sorry, bottom middle. So we have a podcasting studio. Anybody can come in and record podcasts. Eric was input from the Longmont Community Foundation, until we shut down the building during COVID. It started using that to do his and we had a whole bunch of other people starting to do podcasts in that room. We also have a full time radio station that plays those podcasts from our websites 24 seven, and if from the bottom, look at the bottom right that’s that’s the library set up
When you guys were over at the library doing your city council meetings from there, during the beginning of the council build out, we designed a complete mobile broadcasting system that ran out of that space right there. So next slide, please.
As you know, we are trying to create a membership based medium makerspace initially started faster than Tinker meldet and I’m pretty sure you’re all familiar with Tinker mallets that something that I started with a bunch of other people here in town, back in I think 2013 ish timeframe. And the first meeting we had at Tinker mall was six people. The first meeting we had for long on public media was about 15 people, and it grew pretty quickly. By the time we had gotten to the end of February, we had 50 or 60 people on a weekly basis in our member meetings, and it was starting to really take off and then BAM COVID hit.
We have opened the building up to the general public with free access to studios and video editing software.
Hardware as well as equipment like microphones and cameras, lights and like the podcasting studio we talked about. So all of that’s available to the general public that was initially available, we first opened and shut down for, I think it was about three months that we shut down like everyone else, same time you guys did, basically. And then we opened up again. And right now I believe we’re allowing five people in the building member as members and have to sign up through the website to come in, you can like say, I’m going to be there from you know, one to four o’clock or whatever you want. And that’s available now currently, to the general public as well as to our members. But we don’t know how much longer that’ll be same as you.
Whether or not building stay open or not, is to be determined based on how this pandemic goes.
We also open the ability for people to broadcast on the channel at really, it’s much far and wider, and a broader audience, for the community to be able to take content and put it into
We have a website form that you can fill out. And you can upload your video directly to us and we will review it obviously. But in general, anybody who wants to get their video up on Channel eight ad can very easily do it by literally filling out a form and uploading a file. Next slide please.
One of the things the contract asked us to do is to create a website and we decided that we’re going to make as comprehensive of one as we could. So we livestream channel eight and add to our website, Longmont public media dot o RG and we also live streamed directly to YouTube 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And you can if you want if you have a smart TV, which most people do it and all of them have YouTube on it. You can do a search on Longmont public media YouTube, and it will bring up the live stream for Channel eight on your smart TV. I have a fire TV on Amazon Fire TV. I just
Go Walmart, public media, YouTube and it literally goes out, finds it brings that up and starts playing it. So you don’t even need Comcast to watch channel eight, you just need a smart TV and I would challenge you to buy a TV today that doesn’t have a YouTube capability in it. So reality is there’s 19,000 Comcast customers out there, but there’s 100,000 people in Longmont, I’ll bet you 60 70,000 has a smart TV. So we have we have good potential reach if we can get them to understand that we’re here. We also have archives of all the videos that we create on our website, so it’s very easy to get to those videos. They are as soon as they’re created, we upload them to Vimeo which is our private back end system. And we also upload them to YouTube as long as we have the correct rights for it. And we make those available to anybody who wants them. If they are city videos, city council meetings,
or boards and commissions, we also run them through
A voice to text artificial intelligence program that pulls the text out of the voice and post the transcript with each of those videos on that website. We also have a live schedule of videos playing on Channel eight. And we just got this thing working correctly with Comcast, we’ve had it running for a while on our website, where every day we sometimes we will make changes in the middle of the day, the schedule, its updates immediately in our website, Comcast, we’re not sure how often they pull from that we finally got them to actually come and pull the scheduling from our systems about maybe three weeks ago, four weeks ago, we’ve been working on it literally weekly with them to try to get them do it and they finally started. We think it’s daily, but sometimes it seems like it’s weekly. So if you go if you go to channel eight on Comcast, the show that’s playing probably matches the description but it may not and if it doesn’t, it’s not because we didn’t do it right, because Comcast hasn’t updated recently.
So we also have
As I said earlier, we have a live internet radio station. So if you go to the website and click on radio, you’ll be able to listen to hundreds of hours of podcasts that have been created in Longmont. So we have that live radio station. And it’s also recorded stuff. So anytime you want to do a live radio show, we can do that from the podcasting studio. And we also take all the podcasts that are created and that people want to make available. And we make those available on I guess you would call it lpm radio. So
as I said earlier, anyone in the community can connect and commit, connect and submit videos and you’ll see that slide there. That’s a link that takes you straight to that.
That form it’s very simple form 12 questions, things like name address, do you have rights to let us have this video? If you were to rate this from a G to an x, where would it be? Luckily we get mostly G’s never gotten an x
and we also allow makerspace members including
Free level members. So you don’t have to pay for any of this to reserve and schedule specific resources at lpm, which includes a studio. You know, we have three studios currently for actually, cameras, equipment. So anybody who wants to access what’s happening in lpm, what’s available LVM can do it. Next slide, please.
These are some screenshots of the current website. So if you look in the bottom left corner, that’s that’s what the page looks like for live TV. You can of course, fullscreen that and it will blow up to the full screen. The video archives page is in the middle. And an example of life schedule is on the right. You can scroll through that and you can go forward and backward in time. And generally we scheduled for about a week out. We scheduled Friday mornings for the through to the following Sunday. generally try not to change that too much but we can if we have to like for instance if there is an emergency something
happens the police department wants to put a bulletin of some sort, we can change those types of things. So
next slide, please.
So this is an example of a bunch of the content that we create. So a lot of it’s local. We really focus as much as we can on local but it’s also important that we do the state and national whenever we can. So we do city council planning and zoning boards and commissions, the school district. We are currently doing a live streaming show from the Lamont museum every Thursday night at 730. were called the Longmont museums summer concert series. And what we do is we show up there with a multi camera setup. We take a live feed from the band itself and we livestream to channel eight to the museum’s Facebook page to our YouTube channel. And we record that for later posterity and rebroadcast. So we’ve been I think we’ve got done five shows
So far and we have two or three more left to do this month. I believe we’re also doing a virtual concert with the LDA. Guys, the downtown guys, which I know that Sergio, our president is working with Kimberly Magee on getting that work done. So we’re going to we’re going to be doing more of those things as well. We are working with the Longmont leader, which is kind of the replacement for the Longmont observer to develop a news show the Longmont public media is not a news entity. We are not a news entity. Brian, if you were here, I would say to you, we’re not a news entity. We are a platform for other people to create content including news entities like the Longmont leader, anybody can do it if the Times called wanted to they could or a new entity. They wanted to do it, they could do it. So working with the leader, a local executive producer, and along with public media, we’re in essence developing a new show for a long month that we’re hoping we’ll have high high high production values and will be very valuable to the community
Right now Longmont Startup Week you’re all familiar with it’s been running for a few few years now. But because of COVID, they were deciding whether or not to even have it and what they decided was to go live, and to do it all online. So right now Long, long month, Startup Week is happening
on Channel eight, and on llama startup week’s website, and on our YouTube channel. So you can tune in, during this week, all long, all week long from 9am to about 4pm or 5pm, depending on the day. Every hour, there’s a new presentation from somebody about some aspect of entrepreneurial activity, how to do startups, how to create businesses, how to run your businesses, so there’s this big long thing happening this week. That’s really being enabled by the Walmart startup like week people and by the technology behind what lpm is doing. And those those also each of those shows are individual titles and will be used in the future for rebroadcast. So it’s a great way of creating
content that’s llama specific and focused on entrepreneurship and starting businesses.
We have a show called The savvy entrepreneur, which is a local entrepreneur who interviews entrepreneurs. He his latest show, actually was, was with Brad Feld, Brad Feld is a billionaire venture capitalists out of Boulder, who is kind of world famous for for funding. Smaller startups, you know, earlier stage startups and he actually lives in the Longmont zip code and is aware of what we’re doing. So I did ask him for money at one point, but I haven’t heard back so we’ll see whether he wants to sponsor. We’re working with a league of women voters.
We did the county commissioner debates, we’re going to be doing more debates with the league as the election gets closer. We do broadcast Longmont exercise classes every morning as well as Longmont storytime every morning, which is stuff put on by the local library but by the public library here, they do readings
We take those in broadcast those about the time kids get up so the parents can, well you know how that works.
We also have a weekly weather show which I touched base on before with john but he also does a show called sky over Longmont, where he does a monthly show on the stars above Longmont on that given month. So in July, this is what the stars look like, how they’re aligned, and what you can see and what you should be looking for. That’s cool. And he goes through and shows star charts and shows you how to find those things with your telescope. And that is done every month. We play that at least weekly. We do do some political stuff, but not us. So other people’s stuff would just the platform like Capitol conversations. Marcia Martin, who I believe is sitting there with you. Does interviews of state level lawmakers as well as local and county lawmakers when when the state legislature is in session. Also the backstory started as a podcast during the longest
One observer days with Tim waters and is turned into a television show and is being worked out now what that’s going to look look like in the months ahead. Also a show called voices and visions, which is discussion about people’s hopes and dreams. The first season of voice voices and visions was Tim waters talking with about 70 or 75 people. Tim correct me if I’m wrong in Longmont about their feelings about where their lives are at with COVID you know, with three questions, which came up with some really interesting trends that he had found and you’ll hear more about that in the future.
We do a show with Shaquille allow called values which is being produced into a live Colin show. We’re figuring out the technology for how to do that now.
We’re just starting kind of a really unique thing community conversations. This is the long run, Chamber of Commerce.
Long along with the Lamont leader and Longmont, public media all together working together to create a show about conversations that are important to the community. And you would not expect the chamber to be involved with these kinds of things, but they are very socially conscious about how these kinds of subjects affect local businesses. So that was very interesting in the long run leader is obviously interested in any kind of local news and information and helping to promote that. Our job is to create the platform for that. So our first show was with Mike Butler, and you saw a picture of it earlier, Mike Butler and Glenda Jackson, talking about restorative justice and the chamber helped to run that Scott was one of the moderators and one of the chamber members I forgive me, I can’t remember her name right now, as well as Macy made from the Longmont leader moderated that show. It’s up on Channel eight and you can also see it on YouTube and on the Longmont public media website.
We are currently working with Longmont Symphony, as you know, you guys have just talked about this. How do you have? How do you meet? How do you end up in a community space and do things like a concert, a symphony concert with 1500 members, which is what they’ve got, and 60 or 70 people on stage that sit right next to each other. So what we’re doing right now is we’re working with the symphony to figure out how they can take their next season starting in October, it’s about eight shows up to 12. Take that virtual and create a version of the symphony. We don’t know what that’s gonna look like it we’re working with K and with the conductor
to figure out what what that all looks like and how it could be recorded and how it can be made available to their memberships as well as to the general public. And we’re also working with them with Elliot, the director to do a show where he interviews musicians and he talks about music kind of alternate, every other show. He’ll switch between those two things and it’ll be a 30 minute show.
He starts, I believe that that’s going to be in the next few weeks that’s in process now of the production is just getting started on it. So
we have talked to the senior video club. These are the guys that used to work with the old holder of the contract. They were not very happy with us when we won this contract. And we’re not very interested in talking to us, but about three or four months in, they decided to give us some videos which are quite good. And we played those and we have not heard from them since primarily because we think of COVID. But we’re hoping to get that restarted, where you’ve got this group of about 25 really expert, video makers in town that are very familiar with long line we hope to get them more plugged in the hippie report you see here, I put it here, because this is public access TV. And this is a very good example of public access TV and that’s all I’m going to say about it.
Strong month downtown. I just saw a note from Kimberly Magee thanking us thank you Kimberly, if you’re watching or if you hear this later, I did not
Ask for that I was very surprised to see it and I really appreciate it. Where we did 40 I think it’s 4542 or 45 videos, 32nd videos about Longmont businesses downtown with their owners and what their business is, and the fact that they’re open for business. And we are showing those videos on Channel eight and 80 between every show for all the entire month of July.
And those are also given to LDA and to the business owners to use as they see fit. So they’ll use them on Facebook for ads,
you know, on Twitter accounts, you know, 32nd commercial, you can put just about anywhere. And it’s really a quick little promo about the fact that they’re there and it’s, you know, everybody seems to really like them. So
did that. We also are doing some stuff at the state level like Colorado connections, which is a statewide show that is put together out of Denver. The latest show is you should check it out. It is a fairly long discussion with Governor polis about COVID
And how it’s affecting Colorado and where he wants to take it. And it’s fairly recent, I think about a week week old. But as Eugene was saying, who knows everything changes so fast in that area. We also have live from Red Rock shows, although those are not obviously current. They’re having shows at Red Rocks. But we have shows like that, that we play part of our content. We have about 100 hours of Colorado Parks and Wildlife video, everything from
information about parks, about art shows and community, a lot of outside stuff, hunting, fishing, all the different things that are going on in Colorado, there’s a ton of content from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife and they have a professional video production house that is in house with them. It makes some great stuff and we play that pretty regularly. Same thing with the Denver zoo. Lots of Denver Zoo videos. Some of them are kind of corny, some were really good, but they’re all worth watching. We also have a national news show, democracy now which is kind of
Kind of like PBS a little farther to the left, but it is a daily news show Monday through Friday. And we play it every day from 11am to noon and from 5pm to 6pm.
And we have a show called The folklorist, which is an Emmy Award winning show was produced for a public access station back on the east coast. It it’s about, I think, three seasons or four seasons worth of shows. And it’s basically stories about America and all the way from the beginning of America up to today and all these interesting things that have happened. And as I said, they’ve won several Emmys with it. And it’s really quite interesting. We also have about 50 or so hours of National Science Foundation shows which talks about the kinds of cool science and stem and things that are going on in American things that they fund, as well as the things that they see happening in universities and schools and in business. So great show about technology in general. There’s also other shows that we’re working on, but this gives you a
Have a depth and breadth idea of the kind of stuff that we do. Next slide, please.
So, as you know, we did attract the Longmont leader, I believe and again another another note that went out to city council from Mandy Jenkins. I want to thank Mandy, if you’re watching, we did not ask her for this. She just sent this to you guys saying effectively what I say here, which is it is a local experimental newsroom. They’re trying to figure out a way to create sustainable local news in communities around the country. They started in Youngstown, Ohio last year in October, I believe they opened their first newsroom there and Longmont is where they open their second one. They’re funded by Google and they’re run by McClatchy, the second largest newspaper company in the United States.
And they’re looking for a third one now, but they haven’t picked it. These newsrooms were specifically designed to be different than a standard newsroom. They are just
To work with the community, and what they’ve told us is one of the reasons they picked Longmont was because Longmont public media was there. And they would be able to partner with us in terms of using the space because we’re in bankers makerspace and that we have corporate memberships. So a corporation can pay 100 bucks a month, and use the building for meetings, use the studios and equipment to create media. And these guys are their news entities. So they, they need media. They don’t do a lot with video, but they want to learn. So perfect fit for them there.
And they are going to also next bullet is work with us to create a new show, as I said. So that’s in development right now. And again, we don’t do news, but we’re happy to create the platforms for other people to do it. And this is a perfect example of that happening. So we also provide videography services to the city. We are contracted for up to 20 hours per week, and we meet every Monday at 11am with Micah Unger and
Her communications team in a production meeting to go over priorities for the city. So things like public service announcements or
an example would be the police tributes to fallen officers done a month or two ago.
These the live Longmont Museum, concerts that we’re doing right now are good. These are all good examples of the kind of video that we can do. We even do things inside of the city if you’ve got a meeting that Sandy’s for instance giving to a bunch of employees that they want to have other employees see we will come and record those and make that available so you can make it more widely available to all employees, stuff like that. We also have been consulting on the city for the council, city council chamber rebuild primarily the AV stuff I don’t I can’t promise anything but I’m hoping that we addressed many of the issues around the city, the mic system and that it will work better. The video has been recorded.
worked to be easier to operate and get better views of you guys. I don’t know if you’ve seen the chamber yet, but it’s really quite beautiful. I did a wonderful job there.
We also have
done something that’s directly affects you guys. As you know, we said we were going to start a board and advisory board. And we had started that in February. And we were just reaching out to the community and getting people plugged in and starting to figure out who we wanted to be on this board and COVID hit.
So we are starting that up again. And we’re going to have our first meeting before the end of August. And while we’ll talk more about that in just a sec, and how that affects the city council, we do want one of you to be on that advisory board. And we are doing all of this right now for $424 and 65 cents a day, which works out to $17 and 69 cents an hour. That’s a little bit more than you pay a minimum wage for a city employee. And that’s because we run 24 seven and that’s what you pay us
To run this thing, so I’d say you’re getting a pretty good deal. At least that’s how it looks to us. We’re doing the best we can with not a whole lot. And because the meet the media maker space kind of didn’t happen, we’re hoping to have a lot more help but we’re doing we’re doing okay. Next slide, please.
So these are some numbers. We started
from zero. As you know, the Longmont channel. org was the old contract holders website that they’d run for 20 years. And they would not Ford that to us or give us any access to it whatsoever. By what we can tell it’s effectively shut down. Which was a shame because people knew it was there. So we started from zero with Longmont public media.org. We broadcast 24 hours a day, seven days a week on Channel eight ad, as well as on our website as well as on YouTube. And as well as on what’s called t vision t mobile’s Comcast competitor so we actually
send it out to four channels 24. Seven. Currently, we do, as we’ve talked about do separate live streams,
like to YouTube into Facebook, things like the summer concert series, a bunch of other stuff in the works. We have on demand versions of every video we’ve made. And an important note about these numbers is that Comcast and T vision are not in these numbers. Comcast will not tell us who’s watching.
And we work on a regular basis to try and get them to, they just flat out won’t do it. Their answer is, hey, it’s not in our contract with the city. We don’t have to so you know, toss off, they just won’t give it to us. So take a look at these numbers. The pageviews these are cumulative. We’ve had about 21,000 page views over the last six months, we’ve had about 7000 people actually interact with the website and about 5000 unique IP addresses interacting with our website. And if you look down below in terms of social media, this is
Actually how you we tend to reach people. Our videos are up on social media on Facebook and Twitter and YouTube. We’ve had about 100,000 people look at our content and we’ve had about 50,000 people in Longmont unique IPS in Longmont look at our content on social media. So we are getting out there.
It was would like to get a lot farther out there. And I’d like to get a lot more people to understand that we have a website and all of that’s there. But that takes time. We’ve been around six months. Next slide please.
So challenges and risks. As you know, COVID-19 has kind of stopped everything in his tracks. maker spaces are
and co working spaces have pretty much had their business model ripped out from under them people don’t want to congregate in spaces. So give me an example. Tinker mill had 800 members. At one point it’s down to about 600. Now that not that’s not all COVID related but a big chunk of
It was COVID related that has since leveled out and is starting to climb back up again. But it really was a hit. And we’d never had that luxury of having a large user base in place already, we started at zero, we had just started to take off and COVID hit and that just it just knocked us dead. And the problem with that is that was our plan for replacing the revenue. That was that slowly dropping off and now more quickly dropping off from the franchise fees that pay for public media. So without having a makerspace membership base to help fund what we’re doing. It means that we are not able to do as much as we had hoped we would be able to do.
Which takes us to franchise fees. As you know, we’re allocated 25% of the franchise fees that come into the city. These are the fees that it’s about a four and a half percent 5% fee on video services, not internet or phone that Comcast provides only video and q1, Comcast
Last 400,000 video subscribers nationally is the largest single quarterly drop they’ve ever had. And that was pre pandemic. And as you know, in the pandemic, people lost their jobs they are worried about about having enough money to pay rent and a lot of people to pay food. So we’re expecting to see a even more severe drop in that in q2 and on.
So that will directly impact the franchise fees used to pay for long on public media and other public media types of things. In because the next last bullet is we have less community content than we planned on because we don’t have a makerspace in the makerspace. The plan was to have the makerspace and all those people with all their great ideas and all of their energy and enthusiasm to create these shows isn’t there so we haven’t been able to make as many long specific Longmont focus shows as we would like to.
We will again but right now it’s really hard to do without the makerspace without the members in the community.
In the space, it’s difficult to do. It’s Next slide.
So what we would like to ask from you are a couple things. One is, we’d like to ask that you name somebody from the council to be on our advisory board.
That’s obviously completed. We’re not asking for that tonight. But if you can decide who you’d like to represent the city on this board,
we will invite them as soon as you tell us sometime between now and the end of August, probably mid August is when the meeting will be somewhere in that timeframe. So if you’ll let us know, if one of you want to be on that board, there’s a seat waiting for you. And the second question is considering all that I’ve just told you, we’d like you to think about the potential of changing the deliverables for 2021. to line up with what we believe is going to be a fairly significantly decreased contract payment for this contract, primarily because of the franchise fees dropping off and the lack of being able to build up a makerspace
face. That covert is the situation that we’ve been put in with COVID. So, and that pretty much sums that up any questions?
Well, I’ll be happy to volunteer just as I did for the cable Trust Board. And
so I have a number of questions. I think this is an excellent presentation. You laid out a number of problems that you have, but nevertheless, I think this is an incredible
pile of work. I don’t know other way to put it. A huge mad slightly more than I Oh, yeah. But a huge variety and
a huge leap forward in modernization and potential for
A lot of cross collaboration between the library between law and one observer, which is not for long, one observer anymore as long later
the museum, I mean it and the fact that you’re videotaping, or Well, he were videotaping, and now you’re using zoom meetings, all the plants. I mean, it’s just an amazing amount of variety that you have done and added to this city. And I I’m very grateful to you because this is this modernization is exactly what we needed. And much as I’m fond of the cable guys, and I am they’re nice guys, but
we really needed to take a fresh look at everything and move into this century. And that really wasn’t happening fast enough, and or, you know, but
so I’m very grateful to you and I, I think we do need to discuss
And you’ve also done this during COVID, which is like a totally
impossible situation for everybody. But you’ve been enormously flexible and being able to reuse the work on meetings at the library, switch from videotaping everything to doing zoom meetings, to having translations or transcriptions, whether all these things are really going to be very helpful in the long run to this city. And so I thank you for doing that.
I do think we need to figure out some way to be more helpful because cable isn’t Comcast, in my point of view, and I think most other people’s point of view is not going to start adding people back again. It’s Yeah, so we know that and the Maker Space
We’ll come back. And I think we’ll get more people content. We need to advertise this more vigorously, so that people know the difference between I don’t think a lot of people understand the difference between a makerspace member and just a member, the public, any member of the public can come speak because that’s what are come produce work. That’s why it’s called Longmont public media. And that’s a very old tradition in
it in the United States in a very, very good tradition. But people also can get extra perks and extra access with maker space and have more opportunities. But
if people understood that they anybody can do this, anybody can come and produce content and have it aired. It has to be
worthwhile, but you know,
But yeah, isn’t it? Well, sometimes you have to put up with people. You know, some things should probably not be put up, but they are part of the public voice. Yeah, that’s right. And that’s a good thing. That’s what public media is.
So I do think we need to have a discussion about what we can do to be helpful to keep this going. Because you guys have really been
working at a huge disadvantage. I mean, everybody right now is working at a huge disadvantage, but you’ve nevertheless produced a whole lot of stuff that’s good for this town. So I would like us to discuss in the future Pretty soon, some way that we can be helpful to you. So
that’s all I have to say except we already did discuss this about, you know, who we were going to have for the cable trust and
Councilwoman pack and I were interested, and then that got eliminated. And so I’m still interested. Thank you.
Sandy. I was just wondering, this would be stuff that would generally come up when the contract is up for renewal. Is that correct?
Actually, Mayor Pro Tem, I believe this guide is asking for that Advisory Board Member anytime not necessarily as part of the contract. And we are not planning to bring you back that decision about the contract tonight. Tonight was really a presentation from Scott, I did send you all survey results from our public engagement that Councilmember Peck asked for, and we did sign the contract and so our intention is to bring it back in a month or so. But if you had some specific direction you’d like for us to pursue tonight that would be that would be great to hear. Otherwise, we’ll work with Longmont public media and bring you back a contract later in the year.
I think we weigh in. Not when there’s a contract negotiation, we would wait. And I think this is what Councilmember Christiansen was suggesting, as we build budgets.
The source of funding, we know where the cable franchise fees based on Scott’s presentation. And we talked about this a year ago yet that continues to decline. And if we’re going to maintain the 25% of total total franchise fees, then that revenue stream is going to decline. So in his presentation, it was it was to renegotiate deliverables. And I’m not certain that we want to do that in this setting. But I wouldn’t be curious if we don’t do anything in terms of budgeting in revenues, cable franchise fees decline, if Scott’s prepared to talk about what deliverables from his perspective would drop off, so we would, we would have an idea about that when it comes to
Our review of budget proposals and at some point in that context as well, if there were if what you would buy for additional levels of or commitments of funding at x would would result in some package of deliverables beyond what we’ve seen this year. Which is pretty ambitious. But but I do think it’s a it’s a budgeting question first, and then it’s a renegotiation of deliverables. If, if there isn’t going to be additional consideration, or what we would get if there is so to the degree that that’s a question Scott, you can respond to, I don’t know. I think the negotiation of the lab result is going to be between Sandy and Scott. That’s not for us to do but to have an idea of what we give up. If there’s no if there’s not another budget dollar committed to it other than 25% of franchise fees, or what we get if we wanted to make a bigger investment.
I’m not really
prepared to say what we would cut right now. But I can say that as this drops the we actually have hit pretty much all of our deliverables so far. I mean, it’s surprising to me that we, I mean, if you look at the list of stuff, the things that we couldn’t do, for instance, where high school sports because no high school sports, right? So, yeah, things like that. We haven’t done as much arts and entertainment stuff. But we’ve done you know, a fair amount, and we have a bunch in the works. So the reality is, they’re pretty much you could make the argument that we are kind of hitting most of our deliverables. Even though we are working without effectively the volunteer staff we assumed would be there.
That said, there’s no way that that’s right now we’ve got five people we’ve got Sergio and jelous, who’s our business development guy, we’ve got Craig Stevens, who is our executive producer, Devin Pindar, who is the makerspace manager as well as project
Do sir, videographer and myself and that’s it. And we are doing pretty much all of the work right now. Tim is doing a show she kills doing a show the you know, there’s a series of people that are working on stuff, and we help them. But I’m not sure that right now we’re all working for about minimum wage, including myself.
And I’m talking to city minimum wage.
So between 15 and $17 an hour is what we what the five of us make in that area. And that’s because we love what we’re doing. But I can tell you that that’s not sustainable long term. That’s a bunch of people who said, we love this, we want it to happen and we’re willing to give it a year to see what we can do.
I’m gonna probably by the end of the year have to lower the number of people that are in this this organization. You also can’t have somebody like me
and pay pay them because I’m not going to be I’m an old guy. I’m not going to be around that long.
You’re gonna have to find somebody to run this thing and you’re gonna have to pay them
Enough to, you know, to be able to live on. I mean, I can live on very little because I own my house and I own my car and all that stuff. So, but that’s not true, most people. So I would say that you would probably see things like the boards and commissions drop off,
you would see less shows, you’d see
not as much access to the space. Because we wouldn’t be able to keep it clean, we wouldn’t be able to monitor it like we would need to. So it would probably drop down to two or three people that were working there, because we’re headed towards them. You know, this when we when we first came in, we said it’s $185,000 to do all this. And you guys came back with Well, what can you do $465,000. We said now we can do most of it. You know pretty much all of it. We just have to work hard. And we signed the contract and then we got a notice from the city saying well actually it’s $155,000 and that is the
dependent on whatever we get from Comcast, whatever the city gets from Comcast, so I don’t even know if it’s going to be that by the end of the year, it could be 140,000. We don’t know, we don’t really know, because we don’t know what’s happening with Comcast.
So you can expect less, and you can expect it to look more like the old channel eight. If you don’t do anything, that’s where you’re that’s where eventually it’ll head if you were to give a larger percentage, and I I’ve made this argument before and Sandy, please forgive me. I’m, I know you don’t like to start from it. But
the idea behind the franchise fees, when they first were created, was to fund public act, a platform for public access television, and for the community and the people in the community to have a place to have a voice. It was a platform for community voice. And the full amount of the franchise fee was intended for this kind of thing. What happened was they didn’t put enough in the law to say that it must be that way. And cities started going oh, we can take a
Because it was big money in New York, it was hundreds of millions of dollars in franchise fees. And they were, you don’t need that much money to do public access, which at the time was true. We’ll take this much of it and use it on other stuff for the city. That’s good. And there was a time when that made sense, because there was a lot of that franchise fee money. But now that these numbers are dropping, it’s getting to the point where the the the actual intent of what that fee was for is now being starved out of existence. We are the only city outside of Aspen, Colorado that has a separate public access TV entity. Every other city in the state has taken it in into the city itself as a video group and generally spends more money than substantially more money than what you’re spending on us. The city of Fort Collins, for instance, has five employees being making city of Fort Collins wages and all the equipment and stuff that goes with that they’re looking at about four to $500,000 a year is what they spend
Video stuff for the st actually quite a bit less than what you’re getting from us right now if you look at it, which we did so, so some of the things you could expect from us if you if you were to add more would be more original programming, we would be able to add more people to make more original programming available things like documentaries on Longmont,
which I would love to do.
A big and important one, it’s something I touched on is staff retention, being able to you know, fair market pay pay, at least you know, close to it.
Channel expansion, as you know, we have four channels Actually, we have channel eight and eight ad, which we basically send the same signal to but we could send two different signals to it and have two channels there. And also channel 14 which is educational, and channel 16, which is government. Currently channel 14 is a guy named George Noory, so I’m sorry George Bastos who runs a good radio. He has a little computer down in his office and he plays
he plays pictures of birds.
That’s what’s on Channel 14, and we have no control over it. He controls that system, channel 16 is run by a similar system at the city of Longmont. It’s a it’s a fiber cable channel from the city, the civic center to the Comcast head end. And a woman there puts up those cards that you see in the TVs around the Civic Center, you know, like jobs, postings, you know, different types of stuff that’s going on in Longmont. Both of those channels could be full blown TV channels, you know, like a full blown government channel where we put the city council meetings and we play them all, you know, 24 seven, and along with all the boards and commissions, so you got a place where real government transparency and information lives. We could take channel 14 and I have offered this to the st. Rhine Valley School District.
To have their own channel they have a television studio at the Innovation Center a full blown green screen
No 800 square foot television studio that cost probably 250 $300,000 to build, it’s amazing. They could easily run a a cable channel with tons of content they create tons of video now they just keep it all inside so things like that we could work with different organizations to make those things happen and really make the media landscape in Longmont rich, far richer than anything but boulder and you guys around us Dune I know you guys have been talking about attracting businesses, you want to attract business, make your media landscape rich, make it so that we can go out and we can take entertainment venues and put them on TV and put them on the internet to get more people to realize what’s going on in Longmont media is the key to this stuff. And this it’s dying local media is dying. So if you don’t invest in it, it’ll be dead. We will be dead in two years. Maybe three
will be gone. Pardon? All right, it’s trying to Sandy’s adoration.
Oh, sorry, should I be quiet?
Thank you, Mr. Mayor Pro Tem, Sandy cedar assistant city manager, I just want to clarify a couple things that Scott said. So one franchise fees are actually created because of the right of way that cable companies at the time used of city right away. So they paid us for that right away because it is actually public land. And that’s what creates franchise fees. That’s why they’re created. They weren’t created for public access. Although they’re used often for public access, as Scott has mentioned, there’s a secondary source which is called a peg fee, public education on government channel fee, which can be used for equipment that’s 100% given to Longmont public media in this particular case, because it’s that is the section that is completely dedicated towards public access. So I just wanted to clear that up a little bit. The other piece of it is that our franchise fee as a whole is one of the revenues that we use in order to provide all kinds of city services. So everything from your public safety officer
Two librarians, two other folks in the general fund. And so when Scott and I have talked about this, I know he has talked about, could we have more of the franchise fee. But as you all know, we’re not exactly in the best budget situation this year. So my suggestion was that we work through the contract instead. So, at the same time, if y’all wanted to do, you know, some different way of looking at it, you know, we could certainly talk about it. But I wanted to just point out that the franchise fees actually are for the use of the right of way. And the peg fees are used for public access, of which I’m not public media gets 100% of one note on the peg fees is that they are for things not people, for capital only. We can’t pay people with them. Yes, that’s exactly right. which is I think why, in my mom’s case, we do have a portion of the franchise fee as part of our financial policies going towards people access, because you’re right, the bank fee can go towards the stuff, but not the people. It’s a capital, a capital fee, basically. So so just to quickly run through the last of it. We would use money additional money for licensing of music programming.
We would use it for remote studios. We’ve talked to Justin about putting cameras up in the Longmont Museum, like you guys have in the city council chambers. And we could very easily do and we can do the same thing at the library and make it so we have remote studios, in different city facilities and other facilities, if you thought it was interesting, would not cost that much. But it would, you know, cost some money, and it would give a huge advantage. We would also do more community outreach and inclusion, more marketing, more engaging of groups. And we would work a lot closer than we already are with the city communications folks with bulletins and doing videos and augmenting city communications. So there’s a whole bunch of areas that we could do more if we had more budget, but to Sandy’s point, I totally get it.
You and I are going to have to agree disagree on this point, though, because I did do the research into the laws and the intent 40 years ago was what I described your ad
Absolutely right, that what happens today is that it is set up as a contract based on access, like you said, so
just remember Barton
I was forgot I had my hand up.
I actually just wanted to
give kind of a shout out to the members who have hung on
the level of enthusiasm and creativity in the small group who calls into the member meeting every week is just amazing.
The people who are working for Longmont, public media started out as members and fell in love. And their enthusiasm is amazing. You know, I might ask for some technical support and get an offer of help and I’ll say no, no, no, you know, you’re you work for me.
PM, and I’ve gotten the answer. Well, I’m a member too. I want to help you. So I still say no, because I want lpm to come first. But it’s just an amazing, you know, amazing amount of loyalty among the Corps.
employees and volunteers and I just think that that that needs to be
noted and honored.
I’m tremendously grateful for it and I enjoy honestly being part of it even though I don’t produce nearly the amount the amount of content that for example, Dr. Waters, or Shaquille
or or john the weatherman does, they are amazing how they get so much produced.
But I do want to note that that meeting, that weekly meeting, which was on Wednesday night, and you
can find it from the website is a public meeting. So anybody at all who’s curious to learn more can drop in.
The Zoom link is on the website don’t all drop in at once because I don’t know there’s some Zoo limitation, you know. But if anybody’s
Scott wants to say something.
I just said it’s 100 people you can have up to 100 people, so please do come. So
Just wanted to thank Scott and Sandy and I’m looking forward to Sandy bringing back this information during our budget process. So whatever you put your heads together what you need, and until then, I can’t wait to hear what you have.
Bring back to us. So thank you. Thank you.
I think it would be useful for you to explain the relationship between McClatchy and which apparently just went through, apparently actually just went through bankruptcy and was sold 100 after 163 years to
and Google and the observer and Longmont public media, and also what efforts have I’ve realized you guys are small staff, but what efforts you’ve made to try to get grants for
for this entity, you know, for a long month public media
Can you hear me now? There we go.
So McClatchy, as you said, was purchased by hedge fund. The good news is it wasn’t the bad hedge fund, the bad hedge fund that owns like the Times called the Denver Post and then is known for ripping out the hearts of local media bid on this, but last, so that’s the good news. This is a hedge fund that actually does give those care about news. So McClatchy is intact. It is still a healthy company, from the perspective of having funding now from the hedge fund. They are still operating all of their newspapers, I believe it’s 37 newspapers, some of them you know, many of them are major Pulitzer Prize winning entities.
The Mandy Jenkins, who runs this for the McClatchy folks, is in New York City and she is been in she’s, I think, in her early 40s. And she’s been doing this since
She was in high school. She’s been doing local news. So she’s extremely well
versed in how to do this may seem a random observer for us. And she now is running the Longmont leader along with a staff of four people, two or three reporters and a business development person and another editor reporter.
So that entity is its own standalone entity, the McClatchy entity that Walmart leader, Google funds it to the tune of I believe, I don’t know these numbers for sure. But I’m guessing around a quarter million dollars a year for the next two years. And their goal is to at the end of that two years figure out do you shut this down? Or do we have a sustainable model and they’re trying all kinds of different things. Their relationship with us is purely a makerspace relationship just as if, if you were a member at Tinker Bell, this would be it’s the exact same relationship as you as a member Tinker mode half. There is no tie to us other than they pass on.
bucks a month to be a member they have access to the building access to the tools, and they can ask staff questions, you know how to run things. We have nothing to do with their contents, we have nothing to do with anything that they produce.
They do all of that the Longmont observer is actually what owns long long public media. It is a 501 c three corporation
that myself may see me and Sergio and jealous are the are the officers of and then we have three more four more people that are on the board. That’s all going to change here in the next month or two. We are going to change Longmont observer to Longmont public media and change the mission from creating unbiased local news to creating local public media. So the mission will change the entity will change. The name will change llama public, Lamont observer goes away completely. So there the relationship there is there isn’t one
For the observer. So what was the fourth one? There was one other piece.
I see you see why it’s confusing to most people. They don’t. Yeah, no good.
But the other pieces, whatever it says, as long as public media made to find grants,
and things like that, I know grants are hard. They are hard forever to write them. It takes it’s hard to get them but they’re important. They’re really important and we have to so Sergio was our CTO and now he is our business development guy. And because of his work with LDP and the innovate project, he is very well versed in talking to different organizations and he has points on grants with us. We have a grant Committee, which is made up of a guy named Anthony main who is on our board and has written and won grants before. Shaquille DeLisle, who you’ve heard from
Sergio drives that Ron Thomas from Tinker mill as part of that he’s also a member of at Longmont public media. And we are talking to Ron about doing stuff with Tinker mill. To create joint grants right now, we think we have a better chance of getting grants, if we’re doing particularly education and how to and grants that that are much easier to explain to, to, to foundations, and have a distinct specific thing they get at the end, because that’s what they really want. So we’ve, when you talk about public media, it can be kind of ethereal, you know, unless you can show something very specific. So we’re going to start with stuff we really know, which is Tinker mill with Tinker melt can do. And it’s got, you know, hundreds of people who know how to do all kinds of amazing things, and llama public media, which knows how to produce that stuff. And together, we’re going to find a series of potential donors and start that process. We actually started that process about three weeks ago to really dig into it.
So I’m hoping to see some results in the next few months. We also are working with a community found the boulder Community Foundation,
Boulder County Community Foundation, having those discussions as well. So we are very much aware of grants. We see there there being five revenue sources, which is membership fees from makerspace. The contract with the city, sponsorships, potentially advertising, grants, and sponsorships and advertising and the same thing grants and then pro services professional services. So if somebody wants us to produce videos for them, and it’s not a maker, it’s like a company that like, the super dealership in town wants us to do an ad. We can do those things. We could, but we charge for that. So that’s how we made that’s how we plan on making money. If COVID would go away, we’d be doing great.
We really would. I think we would. Well if you could get
agreement with the school system that could bring in some money to that would be awesome. But you know, like with that, though, you know, our school system. Yeah. They’re great. I mean, we have an amazing school system. I mean, they really are. They do amazing stuff, but they are not.
You know, working with outside organizations is difficult for them, largely because you got these kids to worry about. So I get it. I understand what they’re worried about. But it’s hard. It’s very hard.
All right. Thank you. I don’t see any other questions.
All right. Thank you, Scott. Thank you, all of you think.
Do we need a breaker is everybody good to go on? Or we do want a break? Really quick? Can I get a break?
Yes, let’s let’s take a five minute break.
Mayor Pro Tem let me know when you’re ready to begin.
Just wait for folks to get back on.
Think Polly’s probably close by?
I saw our
Yeah, there she is.
Alright, if everybody’s ready I think we can move along to item six B sales and use tax simplification code changes.
Alright, Mayor Pro Tem I’m Jim golden
I’m the city’s Chief Financial Officer. And I’ll be making this presentation tonight. But I’m also gonna have a couple of staff members who will also be here to help assist or answer questions, or Richard East is our sales tax administrator. And Jamie Roth is the Assistant City Attorney for the city. And they’ve been working hands on on this project. So we will be bringing to you in a regular meeting in August.
Some action items an ordinance or two, and an intergovernmental agreement related to this. And this is all about sales and use tax simplification efforts. So I’m going to try to give you sort of a summary presentation so that you have some background before you see these items on your agenda next month. And also give you an opportunity to maybe ask some questions if you have any currently. So this has been an issue in Colorado for a number of years on
sales and use tax simplification.
What we’ve got that we’ll be bringing to you are a few items to address it.
One would be a model of ordinance that’s been put together that by the CML and Home Rule cities in the state that will include standardized definitions, and those are going to be key in in the next stage of what we’re going to be doing was an IGA between the city and the state for the use of an online portal for businesses to file and remit returns and payments, and also to access a GIS location database for out of state businesses. So these these are going to be critical efforts to make it easier for businesses who are outside the state to do business within the state of Colorado and of course with the city of Longmont. And they, they will hopefully eventually lead to the city receiving more sales tax from out of state
the background going back about three years ago? Well, first of all, I should point out that there there’s a number of homeless cities in Colorado. And there are 72 of them that have their own their own, they’d self collect their sales tax. And so they can also have their own sales tax bases. And that’s what presents a challenge for businesses doing business in the state of Colorado, because they have to report to 72 different entities, they may have different bases, different tax rates, and if you’re set from outside the state, you’re probably not familiar with those. So that’s been a barrier for us to be able to try to be involved in any internet sales tax collection. So few years ago, the state decided to put together a task force to address the sales tax simplification to move the state of Colorado towards a position to make it easier for businesses to do business with with cities and towns.
Colorado. So this taskforce did work and put together some standardized definitions. And Longmont was involved in that. And we did implement those standardized definitions about three years ago. And then about two years ago, the US Supreme Court had a decision in the case of South Dakota versus wayfarer. And in that case, South Dakota had enacted a statute regarding internet sellers and that don’t have a physical presence within their state. And they were trying to get them to collect and remit sales tax. That was not allowed under the prior Supreme Court rulings. But the Supreme Court overturned those rulings two years ago. And they held that out of state sellers physical presence in the taxing state wasn’t necessary for the state to require a seller to collect and remit sales tax. So South Dakota showed they had
things in place that made it that it was allowable by the Supreme Court, they were able to show that they were not putting an undue burden on interstate commerce. So what they did is they had a threshold that if you didn’t have, if you had sales below a certain threshold, then you didn’t have to remit and they also have a single state level tax level administration, and then they created uniform definitions. So So what we’ve this state of Colorado, Colorado has been trying to do in the last couple of years, is to put similar things in places Well, the state did pass a sourcing rule in late 2018, which essentially addressed where a sale occurs. And a caveat to that rule is that the filing and collection of the tax can take place again, unless if if an undue burden is is put on interstate commerce.
So what happened is
We didn’t read cities Home Rule cities in Colorado, including Longmont did nothing to
get out of state businesses to apply or collect and remit taxes as a result of wayfair. We didn’t want to act on that and the state through CML, the cities in the state all acted uniformly and not doing so instead that they weren’t they’re moving toward was creating that sort of an interstate portable portal for the collection of those taxes, and also the standardized definitions. So
the taskforce, they move forward and put out our P’s to try to get a software for that interstate portal connection, and also for GIS database for able to do address locators. All of that was identified.
Late last year, early this year, and and so those have moved into place this, this city’s got together with CML. And they created it this model ordinance with more standardized definitions that are relevant to these out of state sellers, that would be need to be adopted. So we’re in a position now to move to put all those into place. I want to kind of curve off in a little parallel direction in that a couple of years ago, the city did budget dollars towards a replacement of our own sales and use tax system. We’ve had our own in house systems and in house built system for 3540 years. And it obviously doesn’t have very good functionality. And so we have limited reporting capabilities. And so we’ve been moving towards replacing
That, but knowing what was going on at the state level, we put that on hold until the decision was made at the state level about the the the portal that would be available. And so what we did is once that decision was made, we were able to piggyback on the state’s contract to be able to select the same software provider who was going to provide that portal to us as well as for our own sales and use tax system. So part of what we’re bringing forward in a couple of weeks are amendments to the code that will address our licensing requirements. So we currently are
any business doing any business doing business in the city of Longmont to have the retail sales tax license. So we have contractors who have been
been required to file, file an application for a license with us and do most of their business in building contractors. And so when the only sales tax collections or payments that they make they are making when they are pulling building permits. So they’re really not remitting any sales tax to us in our sales tax system. They’re also licensed elsewhere under the code as contractors, excuse me.
So what we’re proposing to do is to exempt them from the business license requirement, because part of the cost for our new software system is driven based on the number of licenses we have. So we’re trying to purge the licenses that really are not producing any sales tax for us anymore. And even though these, they’re still in business, we can still get their sales tax through the building permit system. So
It’s also kind of a simplification for them that they don’t have to license with the city twice. So that would be the second part of this change.
So the ordinance, or two that you may see in a couple of weeks are standardized definitions, dressing that in the marketplace sellers, and then the change in the licensing requirement as well. And then the IGA is an IGA between the city and the state to use their internet portal system.
We think that this will probably have a positive effect on our sales tax collections. We do receive a lot of internet sales tax already from Amazon, and from the large retailers in town that already have a Nexus here and so they have to collect it. And so we’re receiving currently over over $2 million a year of internet sales tax but
Sure, there’s gonna be a positive impact from this, that will probably generate more sales tax. And certainly from a staff efficiency perspective, we believe once we get this new system in place, it’s going to help us with our processing returns certainly going to help the tax filers as well. And they’ll be able to easily make electronic payments and file their returns online. And our reporting hopefully will will also improve as well. So that’s all I had, I can answer any questions you have.
Thank you, Jim. I’m really happy about this wayfair and CML, about being able to use a portal on the state. I’ve talked to you about that wayfarer decision a couple of times and why, why we couldn’t move forward with it. So I’m very, very happy to see the city doing this. What is the time
Or do you even have one for when this ordinance will go forward with CML or
so at this point, we’ll all see MLS done what they need to do. So now it’s on the city to adopt this ordinance, which we think will probably bring to you in the first regular meeting in August. And so once we have that in place, and the IGA signed with the state,
it’s just a matter we can, the portal will probably be available to us within a month or so from then. And we’ll be moving towards implementing the new sales tax system and the second half of this year, so that we hopefully have that in place by the end of the year. So I mean, we could probably begin to see new licensing and remitting in the fourth quarter a little bit. How just out of curiosity, how does that work with because there’s a lot of online sales going on right now.
Not only with
with big departments, but the smaller ones to or the smaller online services or I’m sorry, retail outlets like Nordstrom, like
swell like like any other How does that work? How do we capture those smaller but very active retailers You know, a lot of them have been coming forward on their own because they may have a
decent amount of sales to long amount of dresses so they have come forward and and licensed with us and they may have also done it because they had some sort of economic Nexus here in Longmont. And so they would in that case, they would have been forced to and just recognizing that they just come forward and they have applied for a license and remit it to us. So others I think as we start to begin
To see this internet statewide portal utilized, I think they’ll see that law is also self collecting. And so as they sign up with the state and they see these 72 entities, they can begin to remit very easily with one form to all 72 of those entities. Would there be any way for for transparency for at least counsel to see who those online realtors are just out of curiosity?
online retailers, retailers, I said realtors, but I didn’t mean that.
Jamie, you might want to jump in here. I think as long as we’re not giving the amounts we may be able to do that.
Just out of curiosity, I would be interested.
Hi, can you hear me? Yeah. And I believe that the reports are done.
The reports from the statewide portal will feed into our system as well. So we’ll be able to see who’s making those payments. And Councilmember Paki spoke of smaller retailers. There, there is a threshold because wayfarer spoke about a certain sales threshold that must be met. So we won’t be capturing absolutely every single sale. And that’s in part because the system is designed not to place a burden and undue burden on interstate commerce. So they do have to be of a certain size even register. But then I believe once they’re paying into that statewide portal, we receive reports from that seat light system. When the question was, is there any way that we could see who it was just out of curiosity?
Mike, my question, Jamie is whether that’s public information or not.
I believe it would be but I’ll look into that coming number pack and I’ll follow up with you. Great, thanks, Jamie.
Thank you, Mayor Pro Tem.
Thank you, Jim for I’m very much for this.
And I think you did a very good job of explaining it. Um, I’d like to add a few things. National League of Cities has been working on this for over six years. And they were one of the main forces that helped get this through because cities Well, every every municipality of any size needs
to be getting taxes that they deserve. And
CML has worked on this for just as long.
So Colorado has one of the most complicated systems of taxes, apparently, that exists, which makes sense, but um,
so the reason for this was that states were losing piles of money and you
In uncollected sales tax, and also the
small businesses and brick and mortar shops were at a huge disadvantage because they were competing against entities on the internet that didn’t charge any sales tax. So this is was a really important victory winning wayfair to getting more of a level playing field for brick and mortar shops, with
with the internet and you know, Sears Roebuck has been
doing mail order delivery for over 100 years and they charge sales tax. I mean, you know, the the argument that the internet people made that they couldn’t possibly do this. Well, people have been doing this with paper and pencil for years.
The other thing that I really like about this is I
Talk to like a lot of guys I know in my neighborhood are small time contractors. And for various things they have, they’re supposed to be getting a license for every single city that they do work in which cost money and it’s annoying and they have to keep
track of reviving them. This is a, this will help them a lot. But you know, this is one of those things like wayfair, we won wayfair. Yay, the money will be rolling in Well, it’s very, very complicated. That’s why since that decision, CML has been working on a statewide basis with legislators and with everybody else to to create a statewide system and consistent definitions and you and Sandy, I know are really experts in this and but now that we have the portal and we have the definitions, and we have some consistency, it should be very good in the long run for everybody.
before that it was the for small businesses, it was
impossible to be trying to send money to each of the 72 zip codes and yeah, so this is this is a huge amount of work that a lot of very dedicated people have done on a pretty to most people pretty boring subject, but it’ll really help all the municipalities of any size, get the sales tax that they deserve. So thank you for all your hard work on this. You bet. Now I need to point towards Richard esus. Jamie Roth as well. They’re the ones that did most of the work on so I’m just presenting it to you all, but Richard’s been working with CML on this for years.
I don’t see any other questions amongst council member
there anything else from the staff? No, that’s all. Thanks. We’ll be back in a couple of weeks or three or so weeks with it.
All right. Well, thank you, Richard. Jamie, Jim,
looking forward to seeing these come across because they make perfect sense to me as far as everything that you explained.
And so I believe that we will be now moving on to item six see the discussion to resubmit the ballot item concerning 30 year leases as a charter amendment for the November 3 2020. ballot.
Carol, Mayor Council, I know you all asked for this item to be placed on the agenda to have this discussion in terms of
is this something that you want staff to bring forward in the terms of a potential ballot initiative?
Essentially, what we did is we just took the item that we presented to you all dairy last year, when you put this forward
So you could start the discussion and advise staff in terms of what you would like us to do with this item in the future. When we started looking at the meeting schedules, we knew we were running short on time. And so then to bring that in a study session and then turn it around for action, based on the amount of time we had, we just wanted to place it on here and get your policy direction.
I am very much opposed to just whimsically altering the city charter, but I do think that I don’t know when this the 20 year.
restriction was put on what year that was, but I suspect it was a long time ago. And a while I understand the reason for this that city founders
did not want to whimsically
rent out city property for a very, very long time because it makes it
it hamstrings the city on one hand. But things have changed a great deal, I think since this was put forth. And the truth is that banks really don’t want to loan people something for only 20 years, they really do want to loan somebody something for 30 years. And I i understand that too. And I understand from a business point of view they had, it may take 2030 years to get their money back, you know, to earn enough to pay that back and blah, blah, blah, and make a profit.
I don’t have an objection to putting this on the ballot. Again, my objection is that if we keep putting stuff on the ballot that people have rejected, it kind of makes us look like idiots. And like Well, well, we’re just going to keep putting it on the ballot till you vote for it. It’s so I’m
waiting for one election cycle before we put it on the ballot. But you know, I will support it if I think it needs to be on the ballot, people need to vote for it one way or the other.
I don’t think it’s wise for us to put it on the next ballot. But you know, if that’s what everybody else thinks then I will support that.
thank you, Mayor Pro Tem.
I might agree with the not every single ballot.
Rule of thumb that that Councilmember Christensen
mentioned, if we were in ordinary times, but we’re not, we’re going to have a recovery to manage. And we’re going to need partners in that recovery. And like other cities who engage in public works
private partnerships which really weren’t a thing in the 1960s as far as I can tell,
we’re going to need those those 30 year leases. And I think that we are able we are we need to be able to communicate to the public
that this is important to the recovery This is important to the quality of life in Longmont enriching the city and and attracting people who are willing to invest in the city. We also have a situation now where borrowing is very easy because that’s the way we the that’s the way the fence make it easy for people to invest and we need to be able to take advantage of that. So I am hoping that they’re the cities
The city’s potential investors. And, you know, I think everyone on the council knows who they are.
We’ll get themselves together form and issue committee and
explained to the public as we can’t, other than just by talking here.
how important this is going to be, cuz I know I got a lot of questions from voters in 2018. And I think the people that I explained it to voted yes, I’ve gotten letters from a number of them
who, you know, read the council agenda and said, Yeah, I want to vote yes. Again, I voted for it in 2018. And it wasn’t enough votes. So I want to vote for it again.
Because that’s the difference. I think that that
people didn’t understand what they were voting for. And maybe
With more consciousness of the way public finance and public private partnerships work,
they’ll get it this time and the people the potential investors will will understand that they need to
sell their value to the public because if you ask everybody you know who’s a homeowner in Longmont? Do you think you could have bought your very first home? If you’d had to take out a 20 year mortgage? Most of them
say No, I’d still be renting. And
that’s the way public private partnerships work are. Our private investors need a 30 year mortgage do they need a 30 year lease to get it done?
thanks Mayor Pro Tem.
Yeah, I don’t I don’t think among the council there’s it would be just
agreement about the value of changing the charter because we agreed to put it on the ballot before for the very reasons that Councilmember Morgan just described. And I want to I think Councilmember Christensen’s concerns I share about how soon you would go back to the ballot and not having it appears that we’re going to keep coming back, you know, over and over again. I do remember that next light failed the first time and came back successfully, subsequently, and was one of the great decisions that this community made to support the creation of our own
as a utility.
But I, I am of a mind as well that these are these are extraordinary times we live in right now.
If I were to go back to the last ballot, we had a number of items or questions on that ballot. And from my perspective,
My assumption was, this would have been a no brainer. There was no cost attached to it. It would pass and we didn’t we didn’t do really anything that I recall to explain to the public.
The relationship between that ballot question and potential investment in one month in the interim, the cost of the performing arts and Conference Center feasibility study, I think has been completed, although in this, you know, during the pandemic, we haven’t, it hasn’t had much attention. But if there’s any chance of moving on any of the recommendations at some point in time, and it won’t happen quickly, but the prospects are, are not strengthened by limiting the potential length length of a lease if if somebody wanted to build something out of investor wanting to build something on video and property in do that in partnership and see it financed both in the private sector and some from the public in terms of the land, the
The potential then that something is deeded back to the city at the end of 30 years, that kind of thing. I just think I think we ought to position Longmont
to be as competitive as possible to be as attractive as possible to investors. And we don’t have we know we’re going to have a water bond. Well, we don’t know that. If we make that decision. There’ll be a water bond question on the ballot, but I don’t think there’ll be anything else. And who knows what would be on the ballot from us and the county and others in you know, in another election cycle, as long as we don’t have other other or mini items. Certainly no other cost items other than water bottle. I just think this would be the time to do it.
That’d be a good turnout. Big voter turnout in a president elect presidential election year we’ve already heard from some elements in the community, LBP in the chamber. We heard from Scott cook earlier in the call tonight that our business community is ready to
To get behind this, I don’t think anybody was behind it last time. So I think even with minimal organization behind it, it’s a no brainer to help the community understand the value doesn’t cost anybody anything. It positions Longmont to compete at least equally with municipalities, municipalities around us that have already done this to attract investment, the long run. So I hope that we would as a council, give our community a chance to support it, get behind it, and give us a chance to put us in the same kind of competitive position that we see other Boulder County municipalities.
Thank you, Mayor Pro Tem. I also agree we already voted unanimously to put this on the ballot before so I don’t think there’s going to be any real discussion about should we or should we not put it on the ballot? My my concern is the past
Have it and we debriefed about this a couple months ago and kind of talked about it was it was our marketing strategy, or maybe we didn’t market it. But we are in a different time right now than we were last November. And
people are thinking differently and not are thinking more personally, what is going to happen to me? I lost my job, I’m going to be evicted. My rent is going up. My I’m not sure that
I’m just playing devil’s advocate here a bit. I’m not sure that this is going to be an important issue for them to even consider. Because even though the business community’s behind it, they’re not the only ones voting and I think we’ve seen this on many issues that we’ve put on the ballot. Is that the surprise that why didn’t it pass and I don’t have any problem putting it on the ballot. But
If it doesn’t pass, I don’t want to put it on the ballot again.
At this point, so that’s where I’m stuck. Like, like, Councilwoman Christiansen, I don’t have a problem putting it on the ballot. But I do want it to pass if we do that, and
when we talked about it before the virus was not an issue, and personally to every voter who is not a business in business, who just goes to work every day and is losing their jobs, etc. My fear is that they won’t consider it at all and or learned about it, but just based upon history on other valid issues. So I’m for putting it on the ballot if that’s the majority.
council member you don’t have a fairing you actually were not on the council at the time we last spoke to some about so just wondered if you had any thoughts?
don’t have anything new to add. I think everything that had been kind of mulling through my head has already been stated. I think what Councilmember Martin had pointed out about people who are, you know, the potential partnership, city business partnership, they really need to come together and start getting the word out and educating the public. I think that that is going to make or break whether or not this passes is getting getting the word out there to to the public. So, yeah, and I will be voting to put this back on the ballot.
Okay, just from my perspective, I guess I do share the same concerns as far as putting something back on the ballot so quickly after it lost. Real quick question. I don’t know if anybody has the numbers, but what was the spread on the votes for when it lost?
I can’t remember Sandy. Do you remember?
Me look it up real quick? Remember, Harold? Yeah, I was gonna say I can look it up if you all want to continue your conversation. Yeah. So on that note, you know, I think that we all to a certain degree, certain degree came to the consensus that there was a marketing problem. The last time that we had this on the ballot in I heard 2018. But for some reason I thought it was last year 2019 that we had it on the ballot.
Well, and be My point being is that, obviously, in these odd years, we’re going through city elections at the same time, and we as council members may get somewhat, maybe not everybody, but some may get a little bit more wrapped up on either their personal campaigns or the other campaigns going on at the time to not give kind of an adequate effort to pushing forward something
We all obviously feel is necessary but might not make a whole lot of sense to the residents alone. And so I think that it benefits us to try in a year like this where it is a higher turnout with the presidential election. We’re not worrying about any municipal elections as far as seats are concerned. And so I think it would be more advantageous to run it in a year like this than opposed to waiting till next year, when there’s going to be another municipal election. That’s just
something that popped into my head. Councilmember Martin,
thank you look, constituent just looked it up a little faster than the assistant city manager did. It was a hit was
16,000 votes against versus 13,000 votes for.
So it was really pretty close only a margin of 3000 votes with no messaging whatsoever. This seems like work
We could probably close a gap of those proportions.
Thanks, Councilmember Martin, that’s 45.47%, four and 54.53% against.
Quick, Rick on the draw.
So it seems to me that you have consensus pretty much to move forward with this, with the understanding that we really will have to have some sort of robust communication strategy as far as it’s concerned. And I know that, you know, we have to be fairly neutral as far as some of the issues are, but I think for you know, my fellow colleagues here on council that in our personal endeavors to make sure that we’re doing a really good job of communicating why this is important, why it’s a good thing. So, but I think outside of that, we’re all seem to be in agreement of consensus on this.
left the direction from
council to then bring that back to you all to place it on the ballot.
Yes, I definitely see the head nods.
All right, good.
All right, that takes care of the study session items. Now we’ll move on to Marin council comments. Any comments to Councilmember waters?
down the comments, which is a question. I find art I can’t get. I can’t get to a council calendar beyond August. And I know we got the whole year’s worth of of stuff from Maria early in the year. But I can’t remember why. Which folder I put it. We got five Tuesdays in September. Are we meeting all those five Tuesdays in September?
I think we had we had them available because it’s budget time.
so historically, what we’ve done is I think, if we didn’t need one, we didn’t use it
budgets going to be a bear. So likely we will need all five. Right But let me get with Jim and Sandy in the budget group and then know whether, whether we’ll be meeting in person or virtually. Right based on our earlier conversation. Correct. All right. Okay. Thanks.
Let’s count on Petco first. All right, Councilmember Peck. I
feel like I’ve talked a lot tonight. But thank you, Mayor pro Tim. And so I didn’t know at what point in the agenda to bring this up because there really wasn’t any I asked dawn to dawn quantenna to forward to you a an email that I got with a petition from 350 dot org, Colorado and basically, it is from about 5030 individuals in 20 summer organizations.
That would like us to sign on there. This these organizations, these 30 organizations are not coming to elected officials and city council and commissioners to see if we will sign a petition to ban fracking in Boulder County. And the reason I think this has come up is because
Erie is being overrun with with all kinds of gas and oil sites that are just outrageously large.
They need help. And with sb 181 out there.
I actually didn’t even know about this until she emailed me and said would you talk to council about it? So what they were wondering is to me it’s it’s not a heavy lift, because we’ve already passed in our local home rule to ban fracking in in Longmont and the county commissioners have put another moratorium on fracking
Within boulder counties, so with this larger organization going to co gcc and
trying to get all of the elected officials and the municipalities within Boulder County to help each other. Basically at this point to help Erie
I don’t have a problem asking if city council would sign on to this. And I it is in your email box if you wanted to read that it’s very, very short.
And if you don’t want to do it as a council, I will do it individually.
So that’s what I would like to know this is this has to be done by Thursday, which is why I’m bringing it up very late.
let me know you know, do you want to sign on this with as a council body, do you not want to sign on to it?
It hits all our environmental issues. It hits
It hits our air quality, we’re getting alerts all the time. It supports our air quality monitoring. Even though we have taken a position of neutral on SB 181. It just supports each other and working as a unit, rather than as individually. So that’s it.
That’s my comment.
Did you So wouldn’t it take emotion in a vote for the council to sign on as a body? And that is for Eugene OR Sandy or Harold or is it just a consensus? Yeah, that we want to do this? Well, I think we’d need to motion and vote on it as a body, if that’s how we want to go forward with it, but there would need to be a motion. Okay. Um, Tim, I agree. And my my point was that I didn’t know at what point in the agenda to do this. Is it okay to do it at council comments or Eugene OR
probably doesn’t want to answer this question.
I am here. According to the council Rules of Procedure, the city should not be taking a final position or official action at study sessions, I would recommend that you suspend the rules of procedure.
And if it’s representing the city, I do think a motion and vote would be needed. Okay.
I moved to suspend the rules of procedure
so as to be able to make a motion on this.
Okay, thank you. We have a motion on the floor by Councilmember Peck to suspend the rules of procedure and a second by I think, council member you don’t go very. I heard a couple different people say something. Looks like there might be some discussion. Councilmember waters.
Yes, thanks, Mayor Pro Tem
I mean, there’s not all of us, in my view would would favor banning fracking everywhere.
So what I’m my question isn’t about disagreeing with the concept, but as a defendant in a lawsuit
brought to us to enforce a fact practice fracking ban, and we’ve taken a neutral position in that lawsuit.
I guess, Mike, I would ask you, Dean, how do we how would we take a vote to sign on to a petition and maintain our position of neutrality in that lawsuit, and I don’t think that we weren’t neutral and on one at one we were neutral on when a position in a lawsuit, right, we all favored one at one. But this is quite different. And I’d want to make certain I’m real clear where the where the lines are that I don’t want to cross. And I would say just as an editorial comment that the people in the
Organizations about which Councilmember Peck is referring, you know, to cooperating with one another, not one of them approached us to ask, how did we feel about being sued to enforce what the court had already told us we could enforce and to spend more tax dollars. I mean, I don’t want to get too wrapped up in it. But I still honestly have a little bit of an edge on about being sued by our friends to cover the cost for other people who would like to see fracking bans imposed in Boulder County.
So that doesn’t feel like in the spirit of cooperating with one another, that’s the way it should be approached. But that’s the way it was approached. And now on short notice. The question is would you sign a petition to do exactly what people didn’t do for us? So I have an issue with that, but I’m more concerned about the legal status as defendants in a lawsuit in which we’ve chosen
mayor and council, you know, that was the direction that council gave me for the litigation. I’m going to carry that out until it’s changed by a majority of council. You know, I think this is somewhat of a separate matter.
I will follow direction and handling the litigation as directed by counsel.
Thank you, Councilmember waters, just to go forward here. I appreciate the question as well as the answer from the city attorney, but we are specifically talking about a active motion to suspend Rules of Procedure. So if it’s not pertinent to that are germane to that?
Is it Councilmember Martin, do you have comment on that specifically?
No, I’m willing to suspend the rules of procedure assuming that we will have discussions
On the matter after that, I’m just stating in the queue so we don’t have like, absolutely.
So I guess, seeing no other discussion on the motion on the table, all those in favor of suspending Rules of Procedure to allow for a motion and vote during a study session say aye. Aye. Aye.
All opposed say nay. Nay.
The motion passes five to one with Councilmember waters dissenting and Mayor Bagley absent.
Alrighty, now that the Rules of Procedure have been suspended, can I do I hear a motion?
counselor back. Okay. I moved that as a as a council we sign on to the thrifty 350 dot org Colorado petition to ban fracking in Boulder County.
motion by Councilmember Peck to sign on to the petition.
As referenced to ban fracking in Boulder County, where it be in support of banning fracking in Boulder County in a second by Councilmember Christiansen. Councilmember Martin.
I have a number of concerns. The first one is I’m hesitant to vote for anything I haven’t read. And I don’t think that even if we took a moment for us to all read what’s in our mailboxes now.
Gaming under the pressure, I’m not sure I would consider that a
thorough reading at least not the way my mind works. And the other question I have is how much it helps Erie. As a former Erie resident, a whole bunch of areas in weld county and a smaller bit of Erie is in Boulder County. And we’re certainly not going to get a fracking them. In weld County. Any in Silver State does
so or the for the industry collapses which is where I’m putting my money. But at any rate,
I think that that that is a concern that it may be does not have the desired effect and
takes boulder County’s I off the ball bought Boulder County has just in
extended the moratorium and the moratorium stops drilling in the Boulder County part of Erie just as well as a band would.
And and then finally, I’m not sure us acting as a counsel does not necessarily you know have
have some impact on on where we stand in the lawsuit. If if we come out as a body for fracking bans,
then does that allow us to remain neutral in the law
sued or not?
the plaintiffs win this lawsuit, Longmont, in my opinion, could be in the position of paying for the fracking ban twice in a lot of ways.
Scott Converse mentioned my interview with with Mike foot
that was done on Longmont public media. And, you know, he admitted that that Longmont has already spent a lot of money on a fracking ban
and then, you know, found other ways to get fracking out of Longmont.
And I would just like to not have the people of Longmont have to pay
for this fight again because I think we’ve done our share.
So I will not be voting to endorse this
Motion is a body sometimes think longer than things take longer than
we thought and so maybe there will be an opportunity for us to do that when we’re prepared to do it, but I’m not going to vote for it tonight.
I don’t see any other discussion. So I guess that takes us to the vote. All those in favor of signing as a body to the 350 dot org petition to ban fracking in Boulder County. say aye. Aye. Aye Aye. All those opposed say nay? Nay.
Motion passes four to two with council members water council member Martin dissenting with count with Mayor Bagley acids.
Are there any other Marin County
Thank you I, I would like to be indulged for a little bit here because we lost to extremely courageous and important and powerful leaders in the civil rights movement last Friday, the same day.
And so I would like to read a few things.
Part of this as from Jamal Smith’s article, America failed john lewis and CTV, CTV and john lewis met at the Baptist Theological Seminary, which makes me happy because I was raised as an American Baptist and that was the heart of one of the hearts
of the civil rights movement.
So in 2015, Vivian was asked on Democracy Now, whether full writing voting rights had been achieved. He said, there is nothing we haven’t done for this nation. We’ve died for it.
But it’s been overlooked what we’ve done for it. We kept knowing the scriptures. We kept living by faith. We kept understanding that it’s something deeper than politics that makes life worth living.
So here’s what Smith wrote,
is admirable, certainly, but this kind of valor is unfortunate necessity in a nation that continues to fail black people and other Americans of color. Congressman john lewis and Reverend CT Vivian employed their intellect and altruism for incredible benefit. And they are two of the finest Americans who ever lived.
But they shouldn’t have needed to be. Those who have similar talents should be free to exhibit moral clarity in ways that go beyond the battles for basic human rights in the suppose of land of the free. As we both mourn and celebrate these men, we need to demand more of the country that sadly continues to require their brand of heroism.
Here’s what john lewis said.
And keep in mind that this is a man who fought for and achieved Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act, the Fair Housing Act, the labor, labor law, and all of these things had been rolled back and rolled back and rolled back since the mid 70s. And especially the 80s.
But this is what he said about the latest things with black lives matter.
Sorry, I had very little light
it was very moving very
Moving to see hundreds of thousands of people from all over America and around the world, take to the streets to speak up, to speak out to get into what I call good trouble.
This feels and looks so different. He said of the Black Lives Matter movement that drove the anti racism demonstrations.
It’s so much more massive and all inclusive. And this time he said, there will be no turning back. So
those are our marching orders to make,
to be not turning back, to move forward and to harden up all those things that we have lost, that we have allowed to drift away. We need to fight for them all over again. And make sure they don’t disappear.
All right. Last call for council comments.
Seeing none, moving on city manager remarks
I did for general. counsel on email I found a regarding some of your questions concerning COVID spread with different populations. It was on the CDC website. It appeared about five days ago. I just wanted to bring that to your attention.
Other than that, obviously I haven’t had time to read it, but it was a CDC documents I felt I could share. Other than that, no comments.
Thank you, Harold city attorney remarks.
No comments, Mayor Pro Tem.
Thank you, Eugene. All right, I move adjournment.
all in favor of adjournment. Say hi. Hi.
Motion passes unanimously. We are adjourned. Thank you, everybody.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai